Open letter to Cyril Ramaphosa
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:
“…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