Ramaphosa returns to Lesotho
SOUTH Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected in Lesotho today to discuss the implementation of the country’s constitutional, political, public service and security sector reforms.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika comprising the leaders of Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, namibia, Tanzania, South Africa (Organ Chair) and Zimbabwe ( SADC chair) met in Pretoria on 15 September 2014 and mandated Mr Ramaphosa with coordinating efforts aimed at resolving Lesotho’s political and security challenges.
Through Mr Ramaphosa’s mediation, Lesotho went for early elections on 28 February 2015, which brought in a new seven-party government led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili but the security and political challenges persist, hence his visit to Maseru yet again.
A Commission of Inquiry established by the SADC Double Troika in July last year to investigate the killing of former army commander Lieutenant-general Maaparankoe Mahao by fellow Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members on 25 June 2015, recommended constitutional reforms for stability to return to the troubled Kingdom.
Home Affairs Minister Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane yesterday confirmed Mr Ramaphosa’s one-day visit, which he said was at the invitation of the government to discuss the implementation of the reforms.
Asked if Mr Ramaphosa was also coming to discuss the SADC Double Troika Summit on Lesotho to be held in Botswana on Tuesday next week, Adv Rakuoane said: “Mr Ramaphosa was invited long before the SADC Double Troika meeting was called (on 13 June 2016). However, I can’t say the summit won’t be discussed because after all, he is the SADC facilitator on Lesotho issues”.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Mr Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, were fruitless yesterday as his phone rang unanswered.
Meanwhile, next week’s Double Troika Summit to be held in Botswana was convened to discuss progress Lesotho has made regarding the implementation of the SADC Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations aimed at ending the country’s instability.