The Lesotho Defence Force has apologised for and retracted a threatening letter that was written by its spokesperson to Lesotho Times Journalist Pascalina Kabi. That letter accused Kabi of being a spy and being in possession of restricted documents and warned that the army would not take this lying down.
The army’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, has now written to the editor of the Lesotho Times newspaper to apologise and assure the nation that the army is committed to transparency and accountability.
The most chilling part of the threatening letter was a reminder of the near fatal shooting of Lesotho Times Editor Lloyd Mutungamiri, allegedly shot by soldiers
While some have welcomed the apology and withdrawal, it has left some journalists who were threatened for reporting the army sceptical.
However, The army Chief of Staff acknowledges that the letter from the spokesperson was harsh, and reassures the nation that army values the role of a professional media in a democracy.