Lesotho ‘must become part of SA’

2014-09-10 16:42

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Serious discussions should take place about Lesotho becoming a part of South Africa, the National Union of Mineworkers has said.

“The developments in Lesotho are of concern,” the general secretary of NUM, Frans Baleni, said today, following a meeting of the union’s national office bearers in Joburg.

He said a number of NUM members who are also citizens of Lesotho had urged the union to appeal to the authorities to bring about stability there.

In 1991, NUM took a resolution that South Africa and Lesotho should seriously consider the mountain kingdom being incorporated into South Africa, which completely surrounds it.

“That was 1991. That dialogue is still taking place and we are still promoting that there must be dialogue,” Baleni said.

“Basothos must decide their future and South Africa obviously must decide how to take [this] process forward.”

For now, it was important that stability return to Lesotho and that it revert to a democracy.

“We cannot allow a situation where the army wants to run politics [in Lesotho],” Baleni said.

Earlier today, City Press reported that President Jacob Zuma had given Lesotho coalition leaders two days to agree on a date to open Parliament.

After meeting with coalition leaders yesterday, Zuma said talks had gone well.

He said leaders had reached a point where they would now “have to do further consultations” on their own over the next few days.

Zuma arrived in Lesotho yesterday to facilitate peace talks after Lesotho prime minister Tom Thabane was forced to flee to South Africa last month during an attempted coup by its military.

Thabane returned to Lesotho days later. Zuma and representatives from the Southern African Development Community brought together leaders from Lesotho’s coalition parties to resolve the differences.

Thabane said they were committed to reopening Parliament, but gave no date.

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