article alleged the Lesotho Mounted
Police Service (LMPS) was planning
to charge Lesotho Defence Force
(LDF) Commander Lieutenant General
Tlali Kamoli, Deputy Prime Minister
Mothetjoa Metsing and several other
high-ranking LDF, LMPS and government
officials with high treason and murder
after the attempted coup.
On Sunday 21 September, the Lesotho
Times and Sunday Express Editor, Lloyd
Mutungamiri and Senior Reporter, Lekhetho Ntsukunyane, were arrested.
Police informed the pair they were being detained because of the story, ‘Top
officials face high treason charges’ and
would be charged with defamation under Penal Code of 2011, Section 104.

Radio and televisions jammed
during attempted ‘coup’
On 30 August 2014, just after Prime
Minister Thomas Thabane fled to South
Africa, the Lesotho military reportedly
took control of police headquarters and
jammed radio, television and telephone
Only one station, Lesotho Catholic Radio FM, was not jammed and all signals
were back online by the middle of that
same day.

Victory for media pluralism
In the midst of the declining state of
media freedom witnessed throughout
2014, we were pleased to see the overturning of an interim interdict against a
new newspaper, which had been granted earlier in the year.
On 5 March 2014, the Commercial
Court in Maseru, Lesotho, interdicted
the former Lesotho Times weekly news-


So This is Democracy? 2014

paper editors, Abel Chapatarango and
Shakemen Muragi together with the
former senior political reporter Caswel
Tlali, from practicing as journalists and
publishing a newspaper – The Post.
Basildon Peta, the Chief Executive Officer and Director of all the applicants,
argued the three respondents formed a
company called The Post (Pty) Ltd while
they were still under his employ and
had plotted to steal his employees and
go into unlawful competition with his
The 12 months interdict, which was applied from September 2013 and scheduled to end in August 2014, was sought
by African Media Holdings (Pty) Ltd,
Lesotho Times (Pty) Ltd and Sunday Express (Pty) Ltd.
The restraint also barred the three journalists and The Post (Pty) Ltd from carrying on the profession of journalism
and publishing business in Lesotho for
36 months and twenty four months for
Chapararongo and Mugari. The interdict
further prevented them from carrying
such a business within a radius of two
hundred (200) kilometres from the offices of the African Media Holdings (Pty)
Ltd which owns Lesotho Times and Sunday Express.
On 24 October 2014 the Court of Appeal of Lesotho set aside the decision of
the lower court, The High Court of Lesotho.
The Post came into circulation in Lesotho in November, bringing the number
of weekly newspapers in Lesotho to

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