Journalists and media practitioners have presented a petition to the
Lesotho Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili, asking for the withdrawal
of subversion charges against fellow journalist Thabo Thakalekoala ,
writes Mzimkhulu Sithetho.

The protest was organized by the Lesotho chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) , whose chair Thakalekoala is. He was charged for reading a letter on air in which an unnamed group of people criticized the fact that the Prime Minister has a SA ID document, and accused him of corruption. Thakalekoala read the letter during Rise and Shine, his popular morning phone-in programme on Harvest FM.

The letter also criticized the government for a controversial scheme that gave ministers and heads of statutory bodies an opportunity to buy vehicles they used at give-away prices of M4000 (R4000) and M2000 (R2000.)

Thakalekoala appeared in court earlier this week. According to the initial charge sheet, Thakalekola faces a charge of treason, the first time a journalist has faced this charge in Lesotho.

It was later changed to a threat on internal security and thwarting proper justice administration of the country.

On Monday, he was given a bail of M1000 (R1000) on condition that he must not discuss his case in the media. His case is to be heard next month.