Mugabe 'concerned' over Lesotho crisis

2015-07-01 13:16
Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

Robert Mugabe (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is also the current Southern African Development Community (SADC) chair, is reportedly "very concerned" about the latest developments in Lesotho, as fears mount that the country might plunge into renewed political violence.

This follows the killing of the mountain kingdom's former army commander, Maaparankoe Mahao, last week.

Mahao was allegedly shot dead by members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) in his village home on the outskirts of Maseru.

According to the SABC, Mugabe met with President Jacob Zuma's special envoy, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, in Harare late on Tuesday.

Mapisa-Nqakula could not give details of the meeting but said Mugabe was concerned about death of Mahao.

"President Mugabe as chair of the SADC and veteran leader in the region is equally concerned about what is happening in Lesotho. He is very concerned, for instance, about the death of this brigadier general," Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Watch the video as Masipa-Nqakula speak.

The report said Mapisa-Nqakula would also meet Botswana President Ian Khama before the weekend troika to review a report from the fact-finding mission on Lesotho.

President Zuma, in his capacity as the chairperson of the (SADC) organ on politics, defence and security co-operation, on Monday dispatched his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa to Lesotho to consult with Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

Ramaphosa is the SADC facilitator on Lesotho.  

Meanwhile, the ex-army commander’s family spoke for the first time since his killing, criticising the Lesotho government for not condemning his murder or arresting his known attackers.

The family said they were convinced the government was concealing the "pre-meditated" execution of Mahao.

Watch as Mahao’s brother speaks.

An international governance analyst warned that there was need for South Africa to urgently bring Lesotho’s crisis to an end before it could spill over the borders, according to Times Live.

"South Africa and SADC must act quickly. If they don't the violence will spread, with potentially severe implications for this country including fighting spilling over the borders, refugees streaming into the country and an increase in weapons being smuggled into Lesotho," the analyst was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    sadc  |  pakalitha mosisili  |  jacob zuma  |  robert mugabe  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  lesotho  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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