Lesotho court rules PM Thabane cannot expel ABC party members

Tom Thabane has been at loggerheads with the party’s NEC since elections in February and wanted to expel some big-wigs that he didn’t want elected.

FILE: Lesotho PM Thomas Motsoahae Thabane at the 37th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit at The OR Tambo Building in Pretoria on 20 August, 2017. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Lesotho’s Prime Minister Tom Thabane has suffered another blow as the country’s high court has ruled that he does not have the power to expel members of his All Basotho Convention (ABC) party.

Thabane has been at loggerheads with the party’s NEC since elections in February and wanted to expel some big-wigs that he didn’t want elected.

But the high court said that the ABC party’s constitution did not give him those powers.

Every battle in Thabane’s All Basotho Convention has rattled the stability of the four-party coalition government he leads.

Since the disputed elections in February, Thabane has fired NEC members in the rival faction of his party from cabinet, armed guards of the two factions have clashed at the party offices in the capital Maseru, his party MPs were on opposite ends when a full-blown fight broke out in parliament, two members of his cabinet contradicted each other in public on foreign policy regarding solidarity with the Saharawi Arab Republic and today the high court said that he did not have the power to decide if members should be expelled from the party.

The victorious rival faction said it wanted to hold a meeting at the party offices but Thabane supporters say that would never happen.