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Questions over Tom Thabane’s citizenship amount to 'incitement'

Eyewitness News established that Tom Thabane was head of elections in Bloemfontein during the first democratic elections in 1994.

FILE: Lesotho political party All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Prime Minister Tom Thabane. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane’s office said questions about his citizenship status in South Africa amounted to incitement.

Eyewitness News established that Thabane was head of elections in Bloemfontein during the first democratic elections in 1994.

Former Lesotho prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili came under fire when it was revealed that he was a permanent resident while his government was reluctant to allow dual citizenship.

Last year, Lesotho passed a constitutional amendment allowing for dual citizenship. Prior to that, anyone above the age of 25 who held citizenship of another country was deemed to have automatically renounced their citizenship

Now an apparent fake identity document bearing details of Thabane as a citizen of South Africa went viral on social media. But, EWN could confirm that Thabane was the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) regional head in Bloemfontein in 1994.

His spokesperson Relebohile Moyeye said: “Why is it coming up today with the fake ID or is there an element of inciting an uprising of Basotho?”

The IEC said it replaced the temporary body that ran the maiden polls in 1994 and didn’t have any staff records prior to its establishment in 1996.

If Thabane was a South African citizen in 1994, he would have renounced his citizenship – thus making him ineligible for election over the years. The Department of Home Affairs said the ID was inconsistent and Thabane was never registered in its records.

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