Le­sotho seeks spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with SA

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

PRIME Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili has em­pha­sised the need for Le­sotho to have a “spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with south Africa” to en­sure Ba­sotho are not ill-treated when they cross into the eco­nomic gi­ant.

the premier made the state­ment when ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists in Maseru on Mon­day, not­ing the Le­sothosouth Africa re­la­tion­ship needed mod­i­fi­ca­tion and not be a one-size-fits-all the south Africans use on other neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

“We have es­tab­lished a spe­cial min­is­te­rial task-team that will be work­ing on how we wish south African to re­late to us. this is be­cause among all of south Africa’s neigh­bours, we are spe­cial. And we can­not have one pol­icy for all the neigh­bours; we can’t have a one­size-fits-all pol­icy with other coun­tries.

“that can­not be the case as we have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship and this should con­sider the ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion of our coun­try in re­la­tion to south Africa, as Le­sotho is com­pletely sur­rounded by south Africa,” said the Demo­cratic Congress (DC) leader.

Asked about Le­sotho’s stance on xeno­pho­bic at­tacks which re­cently rocked south Africa, Dr Mo­sisili said the south­ern African De­vel- op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC), of which Le­sotho is a part, had taken “a clear stance” and con­demned the at­tacks on for­eign na­tion­als.

“Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma ex­plained the at­tacks at a re­cent SADC sum­mit held in harare, and the re­gion ac­cepted his ex­pla­na­tion.

“SADC un­der­stood the chal­lenge that the south African gov­ern­ment is fac­ing re­gard­ing the is­sue.”

For his part, home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Lekhetho Rakuoane said the de­por­ta­tion of un­doc­u­mented mi­grants from south Africa was not any­thing new.

“It’s not new that Ba­sotho are be­ing de­ported in their hun­dreds from south Africa. We can’t blame xeno­pho­bia for all this.

“there is an op­er­a­tion un­der­way in south Africa, which is re­sult­ing in these de­por­ta­tions, and tar­get­ing those who are in that coun­try il­le­gally.”

SCORES of Ba­sotho have been de­ported from South Africa.

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