Open let­ter to Ramaphosa

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TO you the hon­ourable Deputy Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of South Africa, who was ap­pointed by the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (Sadc) to be the fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho, it is para­mount that I first bring you on the same page as my­self and many Ba­sotho about what your role en­tails.

I have de­cided to en­lighten you on the fa­cil­i­ta­tor’s role and the fa­cil­i­ta­tion process be­cause it ap­pears as though you have ei­ther to­tally forgotten it or are not tak­ing Le­sotho and Ba­sotho se­ri­ously.

A fa­cil­i­ta­tor is some­one who helps a group of peo­ple un­der­stand their com­mon ob­jec­tives and as­sists them to plan how to achieve those ob­jec­tives. In do­ing so, the fa­cil­i­ta­tor re­mains “neu­tral”, mean­ing he/she does not take a par­tic­u­lar po­si­tion in the dis­cus­sion.

That is what fa­cil­i­ta­tion is all about sir. In other words, the process of fa­cil­i­ta­tion is a way of pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship with­out tak­ing the reins. Hope­fully, we are now on the same page.

Telling the lead­er­ship in Le­sotho what to do is not fa­cil­i­ta­tion. Please note that you have not been tem­po­rar­ily en­gaged to lead Le­sotho or have you?

You have no right what­so­ever to make any de­ci­sions for Le­sotho. You can ad­vise and per­suade. I don’t think it is cor­rect to judge or threaten any­body as you seem­ingly do of late.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, your of­fice re­cently warned Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane that it would with­draw the high level se­cu­rity de­tail from the South African Po­lice Ser­vice if he went ahead in re­call­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana from his from his spe­cial leave in Al­ge­ria.

The King­dom of Le­sotho has lead­ers and a con­sti­tu­tion which has to be fol­lowed at all times. Oth­er­wise, some of your ac­tions risk ren­der­ing our con­sti­tu­tion null and void. As a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, you have no right to sus­pend the con­sti­tu­tion.

We still have to fol­low our con­sti­tu­tion be­cause it is not suspended. It is very wrong of you to as­sume that the fa­cil­i­ta­tion process sus- pends the con­sti­tu­tion as your acts show.

The Maseru Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Dec­la­ra­tion, Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord and many such in­stru­ments are not above the law of the land, which is the con­sti­tu­tion.

Sir, you should bear in mind that the for­eign se­cu­rity forces we see in Le­sotho to­day are un­der the ban­ner of Sadc not RSA. In case I am mis­taken on this one, please you are at lib­erty to take them back home at any time con­ve­nient to you.

On the other hand, if they are here within the aus­pices of the re­gional body, don’t use them as a bar­gain­ing chip.

If the se­cu­rity forces were de­ployed by Sadc, they can­not be with­drawn willy nilly. For the record, I put it to you that Le­sotho is part of Sadc and no­body is do­ing Le­sotho any favours by bring­ing th­ese se­cu­rity forces here. They be­long to Sadc of which Le­sotho is a part.

In a democ­racy, you do not threaten peo­ple to force them to do some­thing es­pe­cially when you are just a fa­cil­i­ta­tor.

Please note that Le­sotho is a demo­cratic and sovereign state and, as such, her cit­i­zens do not al­low or sup­port op­pres­sion.

Ad­vis­ing Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha Ma­supha and Le­sotho De­fence Force Act­ing Com­man­der Ma­jor Gen­eral Motšo­motšo to or­gan­ise peace marches while the deep fis­sures be­tween the two agen­cies have not been ad­dressed, was not a good idea in my view.

A po­lice­man was shot dead at po­lice head­quar­ters, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao’s home was in­vaded and sprayed with bul­lets, Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana’s home was bombed as well as the Moshoeshoe 2 homes of two civil­ians, leav­ing chil­dren badly in­jured.

As if that is not enough, po­lice weapons were con­fis­cated, ra­dio sta­tions were closed for hours, and at some stage, the power was cut off.

The sol­diers sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in the bomb­ings out rightly re­fused to be sum­moned by the po­lice who wanted to ques­tion them.

Their lead­er­ship sup­ported their re­fusal, the state house was at­tacked and the Prime Min­is­ter had to es­cape to the Repub­lic of South Africa for his life, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter spoke pub­licly that he and his stal­warts will not abide by court’s rul­ings if such rul­ings are not in their favour, there have been at­tempted mur­ders of some public fig­ures and jour­nal­ists, gov­ern­ment funds have been stolen. This list is end­less.

Sir, are you aware that Le­sotho sought in­ter­ven­tion so that above is­sues could be ad­dressed? As a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, have you helped Le­sotho to ad­dress th­ese is­sues?

We, how­ever, have to ac­knowl­edge your ef­forts which brought about a fair amount of or­der and se­cu­rity in our beloved coun­try.

Mr Deputy Pres­i­dent, I have per­son­ally lis­tened to you on South Africa’s Parly TV chan­nel when you were fac­ing bar­rage of ques­tions from your coun­try’s par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

I heard you say­ing “We are se­cur­ing our coun­try’s in­ter­ests” I hope this does not also ap­ply to your deal­ings with Le­sotho.

Sir I per­son­ally re­spect and ad­mire you and had hoped you would be­come the next pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic.

But now with this kind of at­tidute, I would agree with Julius Malema that you see ev­ery­thing through the eyes of a busi­ness­man, and not a politi­cian. In his words, you see ev­ery­thing in trans­ac­tional terms. Be­fore I for­get Mr Ramaphosa, how do you re­late to Bid­vest? The rea­son I ask you this sir, is be­cause Lithotech is a mem­ber of Bid­vest group.

Lithotech is a com­pany that the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mi­sion of Le­sotho has ten­dered to pro­duce bal­lot pa­pers for the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions. You don’t have to an­swer this one sir.

If you were to an­swer me I am sure you would be at pains to ex­plain the un­ex­plain­able. Thank you Mr Deputy Pres­i­dent for lis­ten­ing to me.

Thak­a­banna Nyokana.

SADC fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho Cyril Ramaphosa

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