Opposition, govt talks resume in Maseru
TALKS aimed at facilitating the return of opposition leaders who fled to South Africa in May last year resumed in Maseru this week.
The talks took place on Monday at the home of Archbishop Tlali Lerotholi of the Roman Catholic Church, with the delegates agreeing to continue the discussions on 31 March.
Home Affairs Minister Advodvocate Lekhetho Rakuoane and his Foreign Affairs and Internationalonal Relations counterpart, Tlohang hang Sekhamane, represented governernment in the meeting, while thee opposition delegation comprised All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputyputy leader Tlali Khasu, Basotho National Party (BNP) deputy leader ader Joang Molapo and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) deputy puty leader Dr Motloheloa Phooko.
Archbishop Lerotholi reprepresented the Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) in the meeting,ng, which was a follow-up of initialitial discussions held in Modderpoort,ort, South Africa, on 2 March. The he talks, which were initiated byy the government, seek to endd the exile of former prime minister and ABC leader Thomas Thabane, BNP leader Thesele ‘Maseribane and RCL leader Keketso Rantšo.
The three leaders claimed they had been informed of a plot to assassinate them by someme members of the Lesotho Defenceence Force (LDF) when they sought refuge in the neighbouring country.ntry. The military has since denied this claim.
Chief Molapo confirmed Monday’s meeting, but would not give details of the discussions.
“We did have a meeting with the government delegation at the Archbishop’s residence. However, I cannot reveal details of the meeting as things are at a very sensitive stage at the moment.
We agreed to meet again on Thursday next week, and it is after this meeting that the opposition will reveal progress made on the talks,” said the BNP deputy leader.
Archbishop Lerotholi, Advocate Rakuoane and Mr Sekhamane were not readily available for comment.
Meanwhile, during the Modderpoort meeting, the government is said to have guaranteed the leaders’
safety should they return to Lesotho.
However, Dr Thabane has insisted on the dismissal of army commander Lieutenant-general Tlali Kamoli before he returns home from his Ficksburg refuge.
The ABC leader accuses Lt-gen Kamoli of allegedly being behind the plot to assassinate him and refuses to end his exile until the LDF has been dismissed.
BNP deputy leader Joang Molapo.