Mololi o Qositsoe? (Mololi is Sued?)

"The weekly Sesotho tabloid, Mololi, a publication of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) political party, has been served with a court summons by Mr. Lehlohonolo T'sehlana Member of Parliament (MP) for Mokhotlong constituency No. 79, demanding maloti 350 000 (approximately 54 000 US dollars), for defamation.

The civil litigation is in relation to an article that appeared in the Mololi edition: Volume 7, No. & of February 19, 2004, under the heading: 'Tlhase e nyenyane e chesa hlaha', which roughly translates to: 'a small spark causes fire-outbreak'.

The article alleged that the MP had, on two occasions, showed disrespect to the Speaker of Parliament, disregarded and acted against the constitution of the LCD and that he had no respect whatsoever for the elderly and other members of the ruling party. In his legal submissions to Mololi, the MP has categorically denied all the allegations featured in the publication which he deems defamatory. As a result he is suing the publication and its editor and author of the article in question.

MP T'sehlana is currently involved in squabbles with the ruling party, of which he was a member until his dismissal from the party ranks in mid February 2004 following appearance before the party's disciplinary committee, on charges of, inter alia, defaming the party leadership and non adherence to the party constitution. According to the MP he has resorted to civil litigation following Mololi's refusal to publish a retraction of its statements in the edition in question."
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