President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) continues to remain seized with the situation in Lesotho at the highest level, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma

There have been numerous extraordinary ministerial and summit meetings to consider the situation and provide guidance on the region’s support to resolve it in a peaceful and lasting manner, Zuma said at the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), taking place in Zimbali, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The SADC Double Troika Summit, held in Pretoria last week, mandated the SADC Observer Mission to Lesotho in addition to a SADC facilitator in the person of the South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma said.
“We have in our capacity as the Chair of the Organ continued to remain engaged on the political and security situations in the Kingdom of Lesotho,” Zuma said.

This renewal of the Facilitation Mandate followed the recent killing of Lt. General Maaparankoe Mahao, Lesotho’s former army commander and the fleeing of several opposition leaders to South Africa.

The killing prompted South African Zuma, in his capacity as Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, to dispatch Ramaphosa to Lesotho last week to assess the situation there.
The SADC has established a commission of enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mahao.
Two pathologists from South Africa will assist with the post- mortem process.
Meanwhile, a team of investigators from Zimbabwe and Namibia would be made available to assist with investigation into the death of Mahao.

Mahao, an ally of Lesotho’s former prime minister Thomas Thabane, was killed late last month at his home town outside Maseru. It remains unknown who masterminded his’s killing.

Mahao was a bitter rival of current army chief Tlali Kamoli. Mahao’s death has plunged Lesotho into uncertainty.
Zuma said that in his capacity as the SADC Organ, South Africa has, for the past year, led the region’s collective efforts in addressing peace, stability and security in the SADC region.
“As South Africa we remain committed towards the creation of a stable region within which our economic development imperatives can be realised,” Zuma said. Enditem


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