By Staff Writers
The ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) clique opposed to the incoming deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao suffered another legal blow on Wednesday with the High Court dismissing the faction’s attempts to have the outcome of the party’s elective conference nullified.
In a scathing judgment that found no merits in the case, the applicants were also slapped with a punitive costs order.
ABC held its elective conference from February 1 to 2.
National Executive Committee (NEC) positions which were up for grabs during the conference included those of deputy leader, chairperson, secretary-general, treasurer, spokesperson and their deputies.
The deputy president position was won by the popular Professor Nqosa Mahao, who won the contested position against ABC leader Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s wishes.
Mahao’s victory places him in pole position for higher office should the ABC continue its current trend in the country’s next election in 2022.
Thabane has described Mahao as a “useless rag”.
Three ABC members, Trade and Industry Minister Habofanoe Lehana, Mining Minister Keketso Sello and Mohapi Mohapinyane – Member of Parliament for Rothe – then rushed to the high court, seeking the nullification of the election, which they argued should be rerun in three months.
The trio wanted the court to nullify the results and order fresh polls on the grounds that there were serious irregularities which affected the credibility of the elections.
ABC emerged from that conference very divided. The division has proven to be a gift that keeps on giving to the opposition for points of political attack.
Following the conference, the outgoing NEC decided to lock the incoming NEC out of office claiming that the new officials had not been officially inaugurated and that the elective conference was still ongoing until officially closed by the party’s leader Thabane who was elected unopposed.
Thabane subsequently wrote a memorandum to reassure party members that the conference will officially be closed and reins handed over to the incoming NEC as soon as complaints related to leadership elections had been dealt with. NW