PRETORIA, Sept 23 – South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa left for Lesotho Monday to pursue the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mandate to help restore peace, stability and democracy in that country.
Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, said the deputy president would continue to meet all political and other role players in Lesotho.
“Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Monday and Tuesday continue to meet with all political and other role players in Lesotho to help create a climate conducive for the people of the Kingdom to resolve their political challenges in accordance with the constitution, laws of the land and in line with democratic principles,” he said.
“Critical in this regard is the urgent need to address all political and security challenges in preparation for the brought-forward elections, re-opening parliament, and stabilising the security situation, so Lesotho could return to constitutional normalcy.”
On Aug 30, the land-locked nation surrounded by South Africa was rocked by a coup attempt which saw Prime Minister Tom Thabane flee to South Africa as the military attacked several police stations, killing one officer and forcibly disarming police.
Police are seen as loyal to Thabane while sections of the military are allied to his political foes. The August violence was blamed on “renegade” Lesotho Defence Force commander Tlali Kamoli, who has refused to step down and has been blamed for a series of attacks on police and political rivals.
Kamoli, who is reportedly surrounded by a group of armed loyalists, faces accusations of mutiny and treason, but remains free.