Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili is sueing Public Eye for
defamation over claims that he had an extramarital affair, writes
Mzimkhulu Sithetho.

The claim arises from a January 2006 story that linked him to an affair with Local Government Minister, Dr Pontso Sekatle, who is married to another minister, Henry Sekatle, responsible for the public service.

The defamation case has been launched after Qakaka Ntsene, a trade unionist and Maketso Motjope, a civil servant in the finance ministry, were found guilty of criminal defamation in the Maseru Magistrate's court. They were found to have  distributed pamphlets accusing the prime minister and several other cabinet ministers and their spouses of extramarital affairs. The pamphlets also claimed that appointments had been made because of these affairs.

They were sentenced to two years in prison with the option a M2000 (R2000) fine, half of which was suspended for three years.

Public Eye had placed pictures of the prime minister and Dr Sekatle close together on the front page and this drew much attention.

In his founding affidavit launching the defamation suit, the prime minister claims that the pictures had the effect of implying there was an affair.