MISA-LESOTHO STATEMENT ON THE KILLING OF MR RALIKONELO ‘LEQHASHASHA’ JOKI, A PRESENTER FOR THE TSENOLO FM WHO WAS GUNNED DOWN IN COLD BLOOD ON THE NIGHT OF SUNDAY, 14 MAY 2023
MISA-LESOTHO woke up to the sad news of the sudden death of Mr Ralikonelo ‘Leqhashasha’ Joki, who worked for the Tsenolo FM, a local radio operating in Maseru. MISA-Lesotho has confirmed with the Tsenolo FM management that Mr Joki was indeed gunned down in cold blood at the Station’s gates at around 10:00pm when he knocked off from duty, last night, the 14* May 2023.
No arrests have been made so far, but police investigations are continuing.
MISA-Lesotho is shattered by this incident, which flies in the face of freedom of expression and press freedom. The two are twin cardinal tenets that underpin a functioning democracy, which is the destination of Lesotho.
The incident stands as travesty of the growth of our young and fledgling democracy, which marks its 30th Anniversary since the second wave of democracy came to our shores in March 1993.
Just about two weeks ago, MISA-Lesotho had joined the world in commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the World Press Freedom Day 2023.
The several activities that underpinned the commemoration are still fresh in our minds. It cannot be that, as a vanguard for the protection of the journalists’ safety and security, this abhorrent and heartrending incidence takes place on our soil. It is despicable and is therefore condemned in no uncertain terms.
As a vanguard for free speech and a free press, MISA-Lesotho unreservedly condemns this atrocious occurrence that acts as a scarecrow for the media’s exercise of its freedom to operate without any frontiers.
MISA-Lesotho is party to the global world on the protection of journalists against any attacks, intimidations, harassments as well as murder.
These acts are an affront to our attainment of democracy that is couched on pillars of free speech and a free press. They have the potential to instill fear on journalist as they execute their mandate to society.
We express our sincere condolences to the Joki Family and friends and the entire media fraternity, who are now under a dark cloud of sadness caused by this wicked occurrence.
Our hearts are with the family as they go through this trying moment of their life after the untimely death of their loved one.
It is our fervent hope that justice will be speedily served and the assassins of Mr Joki will be apprehended and face the wrath of the law.
It is our belief that the expeditious dispensation of justice on Mr Joki will heal the wounds of the Joki family and the media fraternity as a whole.
We would like to appeal to our fellow journalists and the rest of society to stay calm and together during this trying moment.
We will continue waging the struggle against actions of this nature on our journalists and for the protection of their safety and security.
Chairperson Kananelo Boloetse
National Governing Council
Maseru – Lesotho
15 May 2023
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.
Latest media violations
RALIKONELO 'LEQHASHASHA' JOKI