Was the arrest stage-managed?

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MASERU — Speculation is rife that the “citizen’s arrest” of four opposition leaders by ex-soldier Hosanna Sako at a press conference on Tuesday could have been stage-managed.
The Lesotho Times understands that Basotho National Party (BNP) Thesele ’Maseribane might have known of the plot to arrest the leaders, including himself, hours before the meeting.
That is because minutes before the “arrest” he told a Lesotho Times reporter who was about to leave the conference that it might be premature for her to pack her notebook because “something big is about to happen”.
He also instructed some BNP youths to call back some reporters who were already leaving the press conference.
Tšepo Monethi, the president of the BNP youth league, said Sako had demanded that the chairperson hands him the microphone because “he had a few words of gratitude to say”.
“Due to the little time that was left to get into details, I was made aware by Sako that he was going to do something that would take us all by surprise, but he did not divulge what that would be,” Monethi said.
“’Maseribane only knew as much as I did but to all the other leaders it was a surprise.”
But a BNP youth league member who requested anonymity told this paper that they planned the “arrest” to test police’s commitment to fighting corruption in the government.
“We want to see if the police will investigate this crime, put it in the hands of the public prosecutor and whether the thieves will be brought before the courts,” he said.
“This is being done before the eyes of every Mosotho and the government should be seen to be working”.
He however denied that the leaders knew about the plan.
“We took them by surprise but Tom (Thabane) was quick to understand where we were going and he meekly agreed to be arrested and the others followed suit.” Basotho Batho Democratic Party leader Jeremane Ramathebane said he was not aware of the plan to arrest the leaders at the press conference.

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