By Staff Writers
The All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane told Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu Khoabane Theko that he has no intention to work with the party’s newly elected National Executive Committee (NEC), more specifically Professor Nqosa Mahao and Lebohang Hlaele.
This is one of the shocking testimonies contained in an explosive affidavit filed with papers to the High Court on Wednesday.
The court application seeks the court to declare that Thabane does not have powers to expel any member of the ABC without ratification of the NEC and without following other procedures outlined in the ABC’s constitution.
“I can confirm that the right honorable Mr. Motsoahae Thabane and I had a private conversation in his home. The purpose of this conversation was that I was trying to mediate between the warring factions in the ABC.
“I did this in my personal capacity and as someone who has the greatest respect for the right Honorable Ntate Thabane. I even sometimes refer to him as my father,” Theko noted in his affidavit.
He added that: “I can confirm that in the said conversation, Ntate Thabane said he has no intention to work with the newly elected members of the NEC, more especially Prof Mahao and Lebohang Hlaele.
“He said even if the courts of law would decide or make a ruling that he works with them, he will not adhere to that order but will do anything in his power rightly or wrongly not to work with them. Even if it means firing them from the party. I must be quick to add that there was just two of us at the time.”
Last Thursday Thabane slapped five members of the new NEC with show cause letters asking them to explain why they could not be expelled from the party, and gave them three days to respond.
This was a day after the High Court had dismissed an application by three members of the party asking the court to nullify the results the party’s elective conference held in February.
Trade and Industry Minister Habofanoe Lehana, Mining Minister Keketso Sello and Mohapi Mohapinyane – Member of Parliament (MP) for Rothe wanted the court to order fresh polls on the grounds that there were serious irregularities which affected the credibility of the elections.
However, the court ruled that: “This application does not have merit and must be dismissed.”
In his “show cause letters”, Thabane said deputy leader Mahao, secretary general Hlaele, chairperson Sam Rapapa, spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa and deputy spokesperson ‘Matebatso Doti, brought the party into disrepute by holding factional rallies while court processes were under way.
On Monday this week, he went on an expelled Mahao, Hlaele, Rapapa and Doti from the party saying they had failed to submit their reasons within the stipulated three days’ period.
The group, however, openly defied Thabane, saying he did not follow procedure and they were staying put.
In their papers filed in court today, they said Thabane should be ordered to desist from making contemptuous statements that go against order of court, desist from sowing dissent in the party by uttering statements and writing letters that are against the order of the court and desist from interfering unduly and without good cause with the business and the affairs of the NEC that was elected in February and confirmed by the High Court last week.
They also want the court to order Thabane to cooperate with the new NEC failing which he must be committed to jail for a period determinable by the court.