Friday, April 24, 2020

SADC Optimistic of Peaceful Transition in Lesotho
24 APR, 2020 - 00:04
Herald Reporter

SADC is optimistic Lesotho will have a peaceful transition from the leadership of Prime Minister (PM) Thomas Thabane, who is under pressure to either resign or retire after failing to show up in court on allegations of murdering his wife.

PM Thabane is accused of having acted in “common purpose” in the June 2017 killing of his 58-year-old estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane, whom he was in the process of divorcing.

It is understood that his party, the All Basotho Convention, had given him seven days to step down.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the facilitator in the Lesotho political crisis, yesterday sent his special envoy, Mr Jeff Radebe to brief President Mnangagwa in his capacity as chairman of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security on the developments in Maseru.

Mr Radebe, who is the Minister in the Presidency of South Africa, presented a detailed report to President Mnangagwa at State House during a meeting that lasted one hour.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Radebe said President Mnangagwa appreciated the presentation on the situation in Maseru.

“We will see what happens in Lesotho as we go forward. The prorogation of Parliament in Lesotho was declared unconstitutional and set aside by the constitutional court last Friday, so we expect the Senate, which is the Upper House to be proceeding to conclude the amendment Bill to allow for the possibility of the Prime Minister to resign to pave the way for the coming in of a new Prime Minister in Lesotho.”

Prorogation is a measure to end a session of parliament, and kill any outstanding matter, without dissolving parliament and triggering an election.

In his brief to the local media after the meeting, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the meeting was a procedural briefing coming from the facilitator in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

“The facilitator is President Ramaphosa of South Africa and therefore he sends a special envoy to come and brief His Excellency the President,” said Dr Moyo.

“There was dialogue of understanding the situation, where it had come from, what coverage they had done as facilitators and what way forward was the situation going to take. So far, we are quite optimistic that there is going to be a smooth transition hopefully.”

Dr Moyo said PM Thabane’s party had given him seven days to step down but that would depend on the approval of the Senate of the constitutional amendment, which was in Senate by time of writing the story yesterday.

He said the court processes against PM Thabane would remain but the understanding of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security was that he was asking for liberty after his retirement whereby he was not going to be subjected to the court process.

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