March 13, 2023


2 min read

Afriski forced to shut operations

Afriski forced to shut operations

Skiers at the Afriski Mountain Resort in Mahlasela, Mokhotlong

Story highlights

    Skiing resort accuses police of abusing its workers
    Facility says efforts to engage government to intervene were fruitless

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THE board of directors of Afriski Mountain Resort has taken a swipe at the Botha-Bothe police for the alleged ill-treatment of the company’s Chief Executive Officer and the senior management staff earlier.

In a press statement released last week, the board said it had been forced to seek legal recourse while the skiing facility will remain closed, resulting in no skiing this year.

The resort located in Mahlasela, Mokhotlong condemns what it describes as the “unfortunate events” involving the company’s top management including the CEO.

“The resort is deeply disturbed to inform the general public, esteemed clients, and tourism industry partners of the abhorrent treatment of our CEO and senior management staff by the Botha-Bothe police.

“We strongly condemn the malicious, irrational, and inhumane interrogation, humiliation, and detention of our CEO and interrogation of senior management staff by the Lesotho police, allegedly instigated by Mr. Wessel Bosman over a minor dispute regarding the alleged theft of some roof sheet items at the resort.”

It added: “These actions by the Lesotho police, against individuals of such high esteem in the tourism industry, have caused irreparable harm to the Afriski brand and the reputation of Lesotho tourism.

The statement said despite their repeated attempts to engage the Departments of Tourism and Labour in compliance matters, their efforts were fruitless, adding that the company’s senior management expatriate staff had to leave Lesotho in January due to the failure to obtain work permits and threats on their safety and possible imprisonment.

“The regrettable situation created by the Lesotho police has sent a negative signal to possible future investment in the tourism industry from outside Lesotho, resulting in the loss of jobs, revenue, and business stagnation.

“Alternatively, we are contemplating ceasing operations until the situation is brought to an acceptable normality. This decision will enormously impact the livelihoods of our local employees and staff, who have worked tirelessly to build the Afriski brand.”

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The statement concluded: “At this stage, we deem the relevant Lesotho government departments not investor-friendly and unreasonable in handling substantive and prospective investors in Lesotho.

“We call on the Lesotho government to take swift and decisive action to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future and to provide a conducive environment for investors in the tourism industry. It is our hope that the government will take this matter seriously and work towards resolving the underlying issues that have contributed to this unfortunate situation.”

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