Ramaphosa arrives in Lesotho

2015-02-13 12:16

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Lesotho this morning to assist with peace efforts in the country.

Ramaphosa’s visit followed a meeting hosted by President Jacob Zuma with the Lesotho government coalition delegation led by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in Pretoria on Monday.

“The Lesotho delegation had raised three issues – the security situation, the violation of the Maseru facilitation and security accord, as well as the request for SADC [Southern African Development Community] to assist with the upcoming elections scheduled for February 28,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.

“In this context, the president ... in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC troika organ on politics, defence and security requested the deputy president to visit Lesotho as soon as possible.”

Ramaphosa was expected to return to South Africa tomorrow.

Earlier in the month, two Lesotho soldiers were shot and wounded and a security guard was shot dead outside the gates of the Lesotho presidential palace.

The attack was allegedly carried out by rebels seeking to destabilise the upcoming elections.

In December, Ramaphosa said Lesotho’s political parties had agreed to work towards free and fair democratic elections.

This was after the SADC intervened in Lesotho following an attempted coup by the military on August 30, which resulted in Thabane fleeing to South Africa, and its parliament being closed.

The attempted seizure of power was blamed on “renegade” Lesotho Defence Force commander Tlali Kamoli, who had reportedly refused to step down from the military and was accused of a series of attacks on police and political rivals.

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