What’s the SADC Com­mis­sion of In­quiry?

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tions as it may find fit for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, peace and sta­bil­ity. This pro­vi­sion nul­li­fies the view that the Com­mis­sion may not gen­er­ate pros­e­cutable ma­te­rial be­cause it is within its right to rec­om­mend le­gal ac­tion. In terms of Sec­tion 15 of the found­ing leg­is­la­tion, the Com­mis­sion may have co­er­cive pow­ers, power to com­pel tes­ti­mony and pro­duc­tion of cer­tain doc­u­men­ta­tion or any­thing that it may con­sider nec­es­sary for it to fully in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter for which it is man­dated. How­ever, these pow­ers are reg­u­lated be­cause they can ei­ther be par­tially or fully granted. Le­gal No­tice 75, Sec­tion 5 em­pow­ers the Com­mis­sion to ex­er­cise all pow­ers vested in it by Sec­tions 16, 17 and 18 with­out re­stric­tion. This makes the Com­mis­sion au­thor­i­ta­tive enough to seek and re­quest any in­for­ma­tion in what­ever form that, in its view, would en­able it to es­tab­lish the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death of Ma­hao. In other words, the Com­mis­sion can re­quest, with au­thor­ity, any­one for what­ever and all are obliged to re­spond. Some wit­nesses who hold sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion may re­quest to do so in cam­era un­less he or she can prove that the needed ma­te­rial is not rel­e­vant to the work of the Com­mis­sion. In other words, no one can refuse to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. This ef­fec­tively el­e­vates the Com­mis­sion to a level higher than that of a friendly and vol­un­tary ex­er­cise.

What­ever Phumaphi finds and rec­om­mends will be pre­sented to SADC. How will SADC man­age that? Will it han­dle Phumaphi dif­fer­ently from Langa? Phumaphi looks at the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death but SADC still has its fa­cil­i­ta­tor in the King­dom and has to es­tab­lish an Over­sight Com­mit­tee to ob­serve po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments act­ing as early warn­ing mech­a­nism for timely in­ter­ven­tion in con­sul­ta­tion with the fa­cil­i­ta­tor.

In other words, Phumaphi may not be ev­ery­thing for Ba­sotho and it would ac­tu­ally be un­fair to ex­pect from him more than his man­date. At the end of the day, po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in Le­sotho will still have to deal with Phumaphi’s rec­om­men­da­tions, po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship will still be tested to do things which they may not have been ready to do pre­vi­ously, will still be faced with a chal­lenge of keep­ing Le­sotho a sov­er­eign equally treated so among sov­er­eigns.

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