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Top BAP official faces suspension

THE Basotho Action Party (BAP)’s deputy secretary general Hilda Van Rooyen is facing suspension from the party. In a letter addressed to Van Rooyen on Monday, party leader Professor Nqosa Mahao instructed her to give reasons why she could not be “suspended pending disciplinary action for various transgressions of provisions of the BAP constitution”.

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It said Van Rooyen had, while working in pursuit of a factionalist agenda, in January this year “participated in a conspiracy to have a BAP minister removed from his post”.

Mahao said the move had brought the party “into public embarrassment and disrepute”, adding that she was acting at the “behest of external interests” that were hostile to the BAP.

The move to suspend Van Rooyen comes barely five months after the BAP secretary general, Lebohang Thotanyana, was expelled from the party after his relations with Mahao soured.

Thotanyana has since founded a new party, the Transformation for Change (TFC).

Van Rooyen is also accused of encouraging “disloyalty and defiance of the BAP leadership collective and by so doing undermined party unity and cohesion” at various locations and platforms.

She is also charged with failing to attend a Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting with Maseru district constituencies “choosing instead to attend an event in Hlotse, Leribe, which was organised contrary to, and in defiance of terms laid in out in the CEC circular”.

“The allegations, if substantiated, demonstrate concerted acts of misconduct that undermine the integrity, unity and cohesion of the BAP,” the letter reads.

Van Rooyen was supposed to have responded to the letter by today.

“Failure to respond within the specified timeframe may result in your immediate suspension from all party-related activities pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings,” the letter reads.

Van Rooyen told thepost that “the allegations against me are new to me, they are all lies”.

“I know nothing about them,” Van Rooyen said.

She said she never took any sides in the party’s factional fights.

“I do not know the purpose of levelling such allegations against me,” she said.

This comes at a time when a faction believed to be rallying behind Tankiso Phapano, the Energy Ministry’s principal secretary, is fighting to remove Mahao from his ministerial position.

Earlier efforts by the faction to have Prime Minister Sam Matekane reshuffle Professor Mahao flopped.

Staff Reporter

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