Claims made by former drug user Afimeimo’unga Hola about Princess Pilolevu have split his supporters.
Two sides of Tongan political society who are often divided – the Democrats and the royalists – were united in their support of Hola’s campaign against drugs.
However, when he made accusations against the Princess, which have resulted in court action, the royal supporters turned against him.
The Princess had described the allegations as lies and is suing Hola for TOP$10,000.
Hola has been widely supported by the PTOA Kolope Foundation (Democrats) supporters with chapters from the US, New Zealand and Australia raising TOP$22,000 to pay for his lawyers and legal fees.
Hola has been the centre of media attention this year as a former user who has become an anti-drugs campaigner, working with school children and warning them of the evil nature of the trade.
He has been described as the first major crusader against drugs in Tonga
However, he has also been a divisive figure and has received death threats following his allegations. One person from Tongatapu, threatened to kill a member of his family. Another, apparently living in Hawai’i, went online and threatened to send hitmen after him.
It has been claimed that both people were royalists.
Despite initially vowing to kill the person in Tongatapu, Hola later said he had forgiven him.
The threats were made in the wake of Hola’s claims about Princess Pilolevu.
Princess Pilolevu’s two sons-in-law, Sione Filipe Jr and ‘Epeli Taione have been arrested and charged in relation to illicit drugs. Taione, who was charged with possession of Class A drugs, received a 12-month suspended imprisonment sentence early this year.
Hola is expected to re-appear in court on September 24.
He has been banned by the courts from using Facebook and the internet because his case is before the magistrate’s court.