Open letter to Ramaphosa
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.
SADC facilitator to Lesotho Cyril Ramaphosa