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Mosisili has no interest in the Guptas



By Dr Fako Johnson Likoti

I read with great interest an opinion piece in Public Eye published on Friday 25, March 2016. The article was written by people who called themselves The Friends of the Guptas, the very famous South African family who were granted Lesotho diplomatic passports, even though they never held any position of authority in the Kingdom apart from the fact that they are now celebrities in South Africa for flashing their money and influence in high places.

The so-called Friends of the Guptas in Lesotho were very scathing on Prime Minister Mosisili decision to withdraw thediplomatic sassports from their friends.

They claimedthat the Prime Minister was ill-advised for taking such a drastic approach against their friends (Guptas) and his actions were uncalled for and very unprofessional for a man of his stature.

Well, one may ask which planet they are coming from. They appear to have completely lost the plot here.

Let me advise them, since they appear to desperately need one sound advice. It would be wise for the Friends of the Guptasto read widely and listen and watch South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) just to learn about their so-called friends.

It is most unfortunate that they are so ignorant about these friends. Maybe some enlightenment is required at this point.They have the audacity to accuse Lesotho’s Prime Minister of taking away passports from unscrupulous characters like the Guptas. Well, I think they seriously need their minds checked.

Subsequent to their scathing attacks on the Prime Minister, I had the occasion to read the Mail and Guardian for March 24-30, vol 32, No12. The paper wrote a lot about this wealthy family and their actions in South Africa.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa did not miss his words when he was addressing academics about the Guptasfurore. He said “the ANC was not for sale”.

He was responding to the now famous allegations that the family has been providing and promising people appointments within both the ANC and government.

Currently, in South Africa and within the ANC in particular, there is a probe into the allegations of outside interference in appointing ministers and senior management in government business.

The Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC),GwedeMantashe, has been appointed by his party to lead the probe about the Guptas influence and the alleged capture of the South African state.

This was after the South African Deputy Minister of Finance appeared on SABC TV, claiming that the Guptashad offered him a senior ministerial portfolio. These are the characters which their Friends in Lesotho sayMosisili was ill-advised for withdrawing Lesotho diplomatic passports.

It is critical to point out the Guptaswere not even investors in Lesotho. In any case investors are never given passports of such status.

Probably, the Friends of the Guptas are not aware that these passports are reserved for Basotho nationals only not foreigners. I think the Prime Minister was well advised to withdraw these passports from these foreigners.

Just look at the fiasco in South Africa concerning their alleged dealings and unwarranted influence on state apparatus.

These Friends of the Guptas, makes us believe that it was bad politics for the PM to cancel their friends’ passports. According to them, the PM should have allowed their friend to have unfettered influence in our state.

That is, appointing Ministers and Principal Secretaries and Chief Executives as alleged they were doing in the Republic of South Africa. To do that,would enslave Basotho to the Guptas.

We are not ready to be slaves as their friends’ wish. That was the reason why Prime Minister Mosisili withdrew those passports.

The Friends of the Guptas’ contentions are more revealing as testified by numerous associations of their friendships with the former Prime Minister and the current South African President.

It has become an open secret that our former PM used to boast about his friendship with President Zuma. During these friendships, Basotho were suffering at the border gates and fugitives like suspected murderer Scott lived happily in South Africa.

Under Mosisili, Basotho are now enjoying the fruits of Lesotho-South Africa’s special dispensation including our former Prime Minister Thabane in South Africa.

Furthermore, Scott is now behind bars where his guilt or innocence will be established.

It was unfortunate that the last coalition government collapsed so quickly and thus denied us another, maybe something like Nkandla in Lesotho of which the friends would have rejoiced to have.

It is interesting to note that one of the Guptas, known as Essa, according to the Mail and Guardian newspaper “was granted a diplomatic passport by Lesotho authorities in 2014 – on advice of President Jacob Zuma”.

Is this what the friends wanted Mosisili to do? They are completely out of order.

This reminded me of one Greek philosopher who once said that, “it is in the nature of man to hang small thieves and elect the great ones into public office”.

The current noise in South Africa about the Guptas always reminds me of this phrase. The Guptas are known for being mischievous characters. For instance, the paper argues that, the person who was identified, erroneously or deliberately, as “Aziz Omar Essa and described as a Gupta nephew was actually Salem Essa”.

It is this person that Mosisili is being accused of withdrawing his diplomatic passport. Judging from the above, we can see these people are not only wanting in morals but they lack integrity too.

I wonder which country can give people of such caliber diplomatic passports.

In other words, the friends of the Guptas regard Lesotho and Basotho as a banana republic where the state is up for sale. Mosisili will never sell Basotho and Lesotho to the Guptas.

The Mail and Guardian went on to point out that this SalimEssa or as his name was known in Lesotho Aziz Omar Essa controls at least more than ten Chief Executives of South African state.

You can just imagine the equivalent of that in Lesotho. I’m sure, if it was not because of Prime Minister Mosisili, these men could have controlled every piece of Lesotho and everyone who lives in it.

The Guptas friends are devastated with Mosisili. I empathisewith them, he is no joke and he cares for Basotho and Lesotho. Their pain will heal with time and they will come to understand that some things belong to Basotho not foreigners.

Can you imagine, this Essa character was going to control all our Principal Secretaries as we have seen in South Africa? This was what the Gupta friends wanted to see in Lesotho.

Sorry guys Mosisili will never sell Basotho and Lesotho to the Guptas for enslavement.


  • DrFako Johnson Likoti is the Economic and Political Affairs adviser to the Rt. Hon Prime Minister PakalithaMosisili. The views expressed are those of the writer and not thepost newspaper

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