Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Lesotho: Country Under Nationwide Curfew After Murder of Investigative Journalist

‘There were a lot of political figures who didn’t approve of his conduct while he was conducting his political party [radio] programmes,’ said a spokesperson for the Media Institute of Southern Africa.

The Kingdom of Lesotho is under a nationwide curfew which began on Tuesday in response to rising crime rates and the murder of popular journalist Ralikonelo Joki on Sunday night in Maseru.

Joki was shot 13 times while driving home from his weekly radio show Hlokoana La Tsela (I Heard it Through the Grapevine) on private radio station Ts’enolo FM. The show was a daily current events programme that aired from 6pm to 9pm.

The motive for Joki’s murder is still unclear. He was known as an investigative radio journalist, who notably broke a story on five politicians who were illegally trading in alcohol in 2021.

“He was seen as a controversial radio presenter who would absolutely go all the way to prove he was right,” said Lekhetho Ntsukunyane, the Lesotho national director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa). “There were a lot of political figures who didn’t approve of his conduct while he was conducting his political party programmes.”

Joki received several death threats in the past few months over Facebook, according to an article published by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The threats did not cite specific reporting and were from fake accounts, according…


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