Open let­ter to Cyril Ramaphosa

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BE it re­mem­bered that cen­tral to the aims of the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) and the man­dates the re­gional bloc have given to its me­di­a­tion mission and the fa­cil­i­ta­tor, South African Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, is the fol­low­ing:

“…to fa­cil­i­tate dia­logue among all po­lit­i­cal and other role play­ers in the King­dom of Le­sotho as part of ef­forts to as­sist the coun­try to re­turn to con­sti­tu­tional nor­malcy, po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and restora­tion of peace and se­cu­rity.”

Ac­cord­ingly, the Terms of Ref­er­ence state that form the SADC Troika man­date are in­tended to “…guide the fa­cil­i­ta­tion process in Le­sotho with a view to find­ing a last­ing so­lu­tion to the cur­rent se­cu­rity chal­lenges and en­sure the restora­tion of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity”.

In Sec­tion 4 of the Agree­ment they signed, Mr Ramaphosa and the lead­ers of po­lit­i­cal par­ties un­der­took to “... re­spect the Con­sti­tu­tion, up­hold demo­cratic prin­ci­ples and se­cure the restora­tion of peace and of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in the King­dom of Le­sotho.”

We, the un­der­signed mem­bers of the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Le­sotho aca­demic com- mu­nity wish to bring your at­ten­tion our con­cerns re­gard re­gard­ing as­pects of the me­di­a­tion process which S SADC have en­trusted to you. In par­tic­u­lar:

1. We are con­cerned­conce about the fail­ure of your good of­fice to f ful­fil un­der­tak­ings it made to­wards en­surin­gen­suri the se­cu­rity of the peo­ple of this coun­trycountr and restora­tion of sta­bil­ity in Le­sotho.

The events of Sun­day 1 Fe­bru­ary 2015, in which an in­no­cent Mosotho man died and mas­sive dam­age to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tionE­d­u­ca­tio and Train­ing prop­erty, are but one grim ex­am­ple of this fail­ure.

We fear that, if a sense of ur­gency is not brought to bear on your me­di­a­tion, (1) more Ba­sotho are go­ing to die, and the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 elec­tions will not take place, or will only take place at a great cost to Ba­sotho lives and a to­tal break­down of law and or­der, as seems to be the aim of forces be­hind acts such as the 1 Fe­bru­ary 2015 in­ci­dent, and their back­ers.

2. We are con­cerned that your good of­fice has nei­ther con­firmed nor de­nied al­le­ga­tions, broad­cast over var­i­ous lo­cal me­dia, of SADC Ob­ser­va­tion Mission’s as­so­ci­a­tion with the 1 Fe­bru­ary 2015 in­ci­dent, which grossly vi­o­lated the sanc­tity of the Royal Palace.

3. We note with con­cern that your good of­fice has shown an ap­par­ent danger­ous dis­in­ter­est in the in­dis­cre­tions of some rogue el­e­ments within the LDF who have made a mock­ery of the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord.

Th­ese are el­e­ments whose in­sub­or­di­na­tion pre­cip­i­tated the sit­u­a­tion of in­se­cu­rity in the first place and re­main in the LDF where they con­tinue their ac­tions of in­sub­or­di­na­tion to duly con­sti­tuted author­ity.

To bring to an end the con­tin­u­ing dis­re­gard of the con­sti­tu­tion and duly con­sti­tuted author­ity in var­i­ous sec­tions of po­lit­i­cal life in Le­sotho, and to avoid the seem­ingly loom­ing blood­bath and de­scent into to­tal law­less­ness in Le­sotho, we wish to urge that your good of­fice to re­dou­ble its ef­forts to ful­fil un­der­tak­ings it has made to­wards:

i)

“…as­sist(ing Le­sotho) to re­turn to con­stitu- tional nor­malcy, po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and restora­tion of peace and se­cu­rity….” and

ii) “Find­ing a last­ing so­lu­tion to the cur­rent se­cu­rity chal­lenges and en­sure the restora­tion of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity.”

Among oth­ers, this re­quires forc­ing those who signed the agree­ment to com­ply with their un­der­tak­ing to “... re­spect the Con­stitu- tion, up­hold demo­cratic prin­ci­ples and se­cure the restora­tion of peace and of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity in the King­dom of Le­sotho.”

We have de­fended the SADC Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Mission from al­le­ga­tions that its fail­ure on se­cu­rity is­sues is cal­cu­lated, and is mo­ti­vated by self-in­ter­est of cer­tain quar­ters in South Africa. We will con­tinue to re­ject th­ese al­le­ga­tions un­til we are proved wrong.

South African Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa

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