Professor Nqosa Mahao and his faction of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) fear that their ongoing battle with Prime Minister Thomas Thabane for control of the ruling party has entered a deadly and bloody phase.

This after the recent killing of Mahlomola Rapholo who was the ABC councillor for Mokhethoaneng in Berea. The 48 year-old Mr Rapholo, who had thrown in his lot with the Mahao camp, was shot several times by unknown gunmen as he drove alone in his car from his shop in the Mokhethoaneng area.

Mr Rapholo’s murder was followed by another brutal attack on Seipati Ntasi, a pro-Mahao councillor for Ramotjalotjalo in Leribe. Mr Ntasi was badly assaulted last Wednesday by a fellow villager and he is said to be fighting for his life in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital in Maseru.

The two incidents come barely a month after Prof Mahao’s staunch ally, former Social Development Minister, ‘Matebatso Doti, was stabbed five times by eight unknown assailants in what she said was an assassination attempt at her Lithabaneng, Maseru, home in the early hours of Friday 26 July 2019.