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Friday 3rd
posted by James Tweedie in World

ACADEMICS in Lesotho condemned the repression of opposition figures yesterday, as judges and lawyers paid tribute to murdered General Maaparankoe Mahao.

A statement by the National University of Lesotho (NUL) academic community called on the coalition government led by the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LDC) to bring the killers of Gen Mahao and businessman Thabsio Tsosane to justice.

NUL law graduate and Lesotho Defence Forces (LDF) commander Gen Mahao, a supporter of former Prime Minster Tom Thabane and his All Basotho Convention (ABC), was assassinated by soldiers outside his home on June 25.

The LDF, Lesotho Mounted Police Service and Lesotho Correctional Service are each divided into ABC and LDC factions.

Gen Mahao’s killing prompted an urgent visit by South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the behest of the Southern African Development Community.

The NUL academics accused the government of granting impunity to those guilty of torture and the maiming and murder of ABC loyalists and demanded that it restore the rule of law or resign.

Mr Tsosane, another prominent ABC supporter, was shot in his car on May 9.

Mr Ramaphosa flew home on Wednesday after securing the assistance of Namibian and Zimbabwean investigators to probe Gen Mahao’s murder.

He also met Gen Mahoa’s widow at their homestead near the capital Maseru and spoke with Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili and various civil groups.

Trade unions and civil society organisations will hold their own tribute to Gen Mahao next Thursday.