Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement following visit to Lesotho
1 August 2015
“We have had fruitful discussions today with His Majesty the King (His Majesty King Letsie III); with Prime Minister (Pakalitha Mosisili) and members of his cabinet, as well as with leaders of the opposition parties here in Lesotho”.
“We presented the report of the Facilitation process here in Lesotho, the final report, to his Majesty the King”.
“Attached to the report was the recommendation that SADC is making to Lesotho in relation to Constitutional reforms as well as Security reforms. That has now been tabled before His Majesty the King and the government of Lesotho”.
“These recommendations are recommendation which SADC recommended to the government of Lesotho to deal with, to find a way of handling them, because some of the problems that beset Lesotho have to do with constitutional matters as well as security reform matters”.
“And it is our considered view and opinion that if stakeholders in Lesotho were to give consideration to the recommendation, much more stable and conducive atmosphere will be created in Lesotho so that greater and more lasting stability can be engendered in Lesotho”.
“But we have left all these in the hands of the government and the people of Lesotho. SADC would clearly like to see greater stability being restored in Lesotho”.
“We also dealt with the matters that have to do with the commission of inquiry that was set up by the Double Troika (SADC Double Troika Summit of the Heads of State and Government) as it met in Pretoria in July. We looked closely at the whole process of the commission”.
“We welcomed the Lesotho government’s initiative of setting up the machinery to support the work of the commission. They have prepared office space; they have prepared the full administrative logistical infrastructure that will support the work of the commission”.
“The commissioners are already on the ground, they are about to commence work, they are thirteen (13) of them, they are led by Judge of the High Court from Botswana”.
“We are certain they will commence their work with great earnest and we call on the people of Lesotho to participate in the work of the commission. The commission is meant to engage in its work and conclude within Sixty (60) days and there after report to the chairperson of the SADC Organ (South African President Jacob Zuma Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation)”.
“The issue of the Terms of Reference is another matter which we dealt with. Double Troika issued a set of Terms of Reference which are going to be a guide to the work of the commission”.
“We have agreed with the government that we should allow the commission to work guided by the SADC Terms of Reference”.
“The Lesotho government, and indeed members of the opposition parties including myself as facilitator, have also made certain proposals that could lead to the amendments of the Terms of Reference”.
“And we discussed this matter and we all agreed that we want to see the Terms of Reference being added to, when the Summit of the Troika meets again on the 16th of August, which is literally within a two week period”.
“So the commission will commence its work right now, proceed and we will them be, on a consensus basis, working on additional Terms of Reference to look at various other aspects which we believe needs to be looked at. And this by no means, means the commission should stop its work, it should commence and the people of Lesotho, through their various structures should participate in the work of the commission”.
“Now what it means is that as we proceed to move forward we will be able to add to the Terms of Reference but that will only be agreed to when the leaders meet on the 16th of August, because they are the ones who set up the commission; so further proposals will then be made”.
“Everybody is open to that; everybody understands that, leaders of the opposition understand that, the government as well as myself as facilitator”.
“So we are proceeding with great speed, with firmness, with determination to move forward, to make sure that the commission of inquiry executes its task and leaves no stone unturned and goes to the depth of what has been happening here in Lesotho, which recently led to the death of loved son of this country Lt –General Mahao. So that is going to be all handled and I am sure the truth will come out”.
“So we call on everyone to cooperate, be they in government service; be they in the army; be they in the police; be they in the society; NGOs; to work with the commission and not to seek to impede the work of the commission, to make sure that the commission reaches a conclusion in a way where they will not be adversely influenced by anyone, be it a politician or whoever”.
“So it is an independent commission and we would like everyone in Lesotho to respect it for what it is, and there after the commission gives its report to SADC, to the Chairperson of the Organ (South African President Jacob Zuma) and its recommendation will be public to everyone and there after we will see what further action needs to be taken”.
“So I leave after a fairly successful trip, and thank the government, members of the opposition as well as His Majesty the King for once again having received me and having worked with me so that we can advance the interest of the people of Lesotho, I thank you”, concluded Deputy President Ramaphosa.
The South African Deputy Presidency