A 494-carat diamond, believed to be the 18th largest in the world, has been found at a mine in Lesotho, the natural resources minister said on Thursday. Monyane Moleleki said the stone was an exceptional quality white diamond. It has been sent to the Belgian city of Antwerp for auctioning.
Opposition parties say the recent general election in Lesotho has ushered in a new era of political instability and intolerance, prompting them to stage an unprecedented two-day stayaway intended to force the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy to come to the negotiation table.
The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy was building up a commanding lead over its rivals as counting continued on Monday after weekend parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's party had won 26 seats while Tom Thabane's All Basotho Convention was trailing in second place with 12 seats.
Voters in Lesotho, one of Africa's poorest and most Aids-ridden countries, started voting on Saturday with the ruling party trying to fend off a fierce challenge from one of its old leading lights. The streets of the capital Maseru were empty apart from the polling stations where voters queued up to cast their ballots.
The tiny Southern African kingdom of Lesotho celebrates its 40th anniversary of independence from Britain on Wednesday by unveiling a new flag to replace a martial one introduced after a 1986 coup. Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehohla said the flag -- whose unveiling will cap national celebrations -- showed ''a nation at peace with itself and at peace with its neighbours''.
Trade unions on Tuesday urged southern African governments to protect the clothing, textile and footwear industries threatened by a flood of cheap Chinese imports. The trade unions met recently in Cape Town to reflect on the state of the clothing, textile and footwear industry in southern Africa.