Ramaphosa condemns Lesotho shooting

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: DOC)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: DOC)

SADC facilitator Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday condemned a shooting in Lesotho at the weekend in which two soldiers were wounded and a security guard was killed.

“The facilitator and deputy president expressed confidence that the Southern African Development Community [SADC] facilitation work to create long-term peace and stability in the country continues unabated,” spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said.

Ramaphosa was responding to the shooting on Sunday outside the gates of the Lesotho presidential palace.

Associated Press reported that two Lesotho soldiers were wounded in the attack, which was believed to have been carried out by rebels seeking to destabilise the forthcoming elections.

One of the soldiers was reportedly rescued by South African police, but spokesman Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale could not immediately confirm this.

Mamoepa said: “The SADC facilitation work has received a boost with the adoption of his [Ramaphosa’s] progress report by the SADC troika of heads of states and government meeting, held on the margins of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa over the weekend.”

Ramaphosa was confident that preparations for the holding of Lesotho’s elections on February 28 remained on course.

In December, Ramaphosa said Lesotho’s political parties had agreed to work towards free and fair democratic elections.

This was after the SADC intervened in Lesotho following an attempted coup by the military on August 30, which resulted in Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fleeing to South Africa, and its parliament being closed.

The attempted seizure of power was blamed on “renegade” Lesotho Defence Force commander Tlali Kamoli, who had reportedly refused to step down from the military and was accused of a series of attacks on police and political rivals.


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