death threats for comments she posted
on social media about human rights
violations in Lesotho. She had received
similar threats on 10 June.

wide. There were however at least two
defamation cases regarding statements
made on the radio stations Ts’enolo FM
and MoAfrika FM.

On 13 December, five members of the
LDF went on trial for the attempted murder of the Lesotho Times editor Lloyd
Mutungamiri in July 2016. He suffered
near fatal gunshot wounds after being
attacked outside his home in Maseru.
The shooting followed his newspaper’s
publication of an article claiming that
the outgoing LDF head was to receive
an exit package of USD3.5 million.

The first case was against President of
Youth League of the Alliance for Democrats (DC) political party Thuso Litjobo.
In September, 2017 the high court of Lesotho cleared him of the charges following a series of postponements since January, 2017, on the grounds that “what
Litjobo is alleged to have said did not
constitute a criminal offence.” Litjobo
had been accused of defaming Maseru
Urban Assistant Commisioner of Police
(ACP) Motlatsi Mapola.

Owing to the vibrancy
and influence of radio
stations in reporting
and agenda-setting,
coupled with political
polarisation in the
country, elections
were a very trying
time for the broadcast
sector in Lesotho.
Freedom of expression in Lesotho has
been steadily exercised through conventional and new media as well as by
demonstrations on the part of civic and
political groups on a range of policy issues. In the year under review, mostly
social media and radio stations have exercised their freedom of speech country-


So This is Democracy? 2017

In a separate case, the owner of MoAfrika FM radio Ratabane Sebonomoea
Ramainoane was ordered by police to
release copies to them of a certain news
bulletin containing defamatory allegations. However on 29 September 2017
the High of Court of Lesotho nullified an
order by the Magistrates Court compelling the accused to release the copies of
the news bulletin in question.

Print media developments in Lesotho
have seen the migration from print-only
to online versions of all major weeklies of the country. Public Eye, Lesotho
Times, The Post and Moeletsi Oa Basotho all have a digital version. Lesotho
still does not have a daily newspaper,
and most papers in circulation are published on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
and Sundays. On the alternate days
there is a deficit of current news.
On a positive note, Lesotho has seen one
weekly tabloid focusing on news within
the capital city, Maseru. The newspaper,
published in English, is called Metro
and it has been in circulation since December 2017.

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