Lesotho Times editor faces defamation charges
The owner of the Lesotho Times newspaper, Basildon Peta has been charged with defamation and crimen injura over a satirical column published in the newspaper on June 23, 2016. The column, called Scrutator narrated a story about the commander of the Lesotho Defense Force Lt. Gen Tlali Kamoli.
The column headlined ‘Flicker of hope for my beloved Kingdom….’ was written in the wake of an announcement by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili that the government had decided to “engage General Kamoli on a mutually agreeable solution” in light of international calls that he be relieved of his post.
The weekly column satirised the perceived influence of the LDF commander by telling a joke about a hypothetical “invasion” of a cabinet meeting.
Scrutator is a weekly satirical column in the Lesotho Times meant to provide jocular commentary on serious issues and caricature noteworthy personalities including senior politicians.
Peta was summoned by police detectives from his base in South Africa for interrogation.
After hours of interrogation, Peta was then taken to the Magistrate’s Court and charged with defamation and crimen injuria under Section 104 of the Penal Code Act No 6 of 2010 read with Sections 101, 102 (1) and Subsection (2) thereof. He is out on M800 bail and M30,000 surety. His next scheduled court appearance is July
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