Ramaphosa returns to Lesotho, pursues mandate for peace restoration

​Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Mike Goldwater)

​Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Mike Goldwater)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will return to Maseru, Lesotho, to pursue a regional mandate to help restore peace, stability and democracy to the country, his office said on Sunday.

Ramaphosa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator, would be in Lesotho on Monday and Tuesday, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said in a statement. “Since his appointment by the SADC double troika of heads of state and government plus DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] and Tanzania, the facilitator, Deputy President Ramaphosa paid his first visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho on Thursday 18 September.” 

During that visit, Ramaphosa paid a courtesy call to King Letsie III, met with Lesotho government officials, opposition political parties as well as the college of chiefs. Ramaphosa, supported by SADC troika experts and secretariat, would continue to meet with all political and other role players in Lesotho on Monday and Tuesday. 

This was to help create a climate where the people of Lesotho could resolve their political challenges in accordance with the Constitution, laws of the land and in line with democratic principles, Mamoepa said. 

Security challenges
Critical to this was the urgent need to address all political and security challenges in preparation for the brought-forward elections, reopening Parliament, and stabilising the security situation, so Lesotho could return to constitutional normalcy. 

On Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported that a police officer killed in Lesotho’s August 30 abortive coup was laid to rest on Saturday. The death of Lesotho police sub-inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko was the first and so far only fatality in the African nation’s three-week crisis. For the mountain kingdom, dealing with his killers had reportedly become a question of war and peace. 

Working a night shift, Ramahloko was guarding the force’s armoury when he heard soldiers burst in and bark their demands. The 53-year-old immediately called the deputy police commissioner to warn him: the soldiers wanted access to the police commissioner, the armoury, and the files on the most sensitive of high profile anti-corruption investigations. 

Within minutes, Ramahloko was shot dead. – Sapa

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