Prominent attorney, Khotso Nthontho, has demanded a whopping M5 million from the opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) jointly with its spokesperson, Teboho Sekata, for alleged defamation.
Nthontho claims during a press conference organised by the LCD on March 7, 2018, Sekata insinuated the lawyer had drafted “a bogus summons” for criminal charges against the party leader Mothetjoa Metsing.
He adds Sekata, in the same event, went on to label him a lawyer for the main ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC).
Nthontho disputes Sekata’s alleged utterances as untrue and therefore defamatory. He wants M5 million as compensatory for his “damaged and injured” reputation.
A demand letter Nthontho wrote to Sekata last week requests both the latter and the LCD to pay the lawyer, failing which “(you) will leave me with no option but to approach the courts of law for an instant reprieve.”
Dated 28 March 2018, the letter reads in part: “I have intently listened to the audio of the press conference held on 7 March 2018 at the Lesotho Congress for Democracy yard near Convention Centre, Maseru.
“In that press conference, Teboho Sekata, the spokesperson for the Lesotho Congress for Democracy intimated that I, Khotso Nthontho, drafted “a bogus summons – samane ea lefofo” for criminal charges against the Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader Mr Mothetjoa Metsing.
“Teboho Sekata went on to say that Khotso Nthontho is a lawyer for “toala”, a popular name and or slogan for a political party called All Basotho Convention.
“All the utterances were made at a press conference authorised by Lesotho Congress for Democracy in its premises, and they are all not true. I have resultantly been defamed and my reputation greatly damaged and or injured.
“Several leaders of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy have on several occasions went on a tirade to attack and injure my reputation on different media platforms, and it is now a recurring phenomenon spanning over a period of approximately four years.
“I am therefore writing this letter of demand, as I hereby do, demanding payment of M5 million as damages to be paid by Teboho Sekata and LCD jointly or severally. Be pleased to know that failure to pay will leave me with no option but to approach the courts of law for an instant reprieve.”
For his comment, Sekata told the MNN Center for Investigative Journalism (MNNCIJ) yesterday that Nthontho should proceed and lodge the matter with the courts, “because he will never get M5 million from us.”
He said: “He can go to court. The M5 million he wants he will see it in his cup of tea, not from me or the LCD.”
Sekata could not be drawn to comment on the defamation allegations saying he had not yet familiarised himself with contents of the letter.
“I have heard about the letter but I haven’t been to office to get it and familiarise myself with its contents,” he said.
Nthontho confirmed the letter in an interview with the MNNCIJ.