Ramaphosa returns to Lesotho

Pretoria- Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will next week visit Lesotho for the closure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) offices, the Presidency said on Sunday.

The closure of the SADC Facilitation office in Lesotho will occur during a ceremony scheduled for Monday in Maseru, spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

The ceremony will witness the lowering of the SADC Flag and the official closing down of the SADC Facilitation Mission.

The function will be addressed by SADC Facilitator Deputy President Ramaphosa, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili and SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax.

“The closing ceremony marks the end of the facilitation mission following the successful SADC intervention which culminated in the recently held elections declared credible, free and fair by elections observers,” said Mamoepa.

Even though the SADC Facilitation mission offices will be closed down, Mamoepa said SADC has committed to continue to provide support beyond the elections to create peace and stability through the Facilitation Mission.

SADC Double Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation held in Pretoria early this year urged all Lesotho’s political role-players to focus their attention, post the elections, on the constitutional and security sector reforms.

“SADC has committed itself to continue to assist the people of Lesotho in this process by making available expertise from member-states.”

The Deputy President was appointed by the regional body to mediate the political crisis in Lesotho.

His efforts saw the small mountain kingdom take to the polls on February 28, two years ahead of schedule under a political deal brokered by the SADC. This was part of a bid to end a political impasse that started in June last year, when former Prime Minister Tom Thabane suspended Parliament to avoid a vote of no confidence that was being pushed by his coalition government partners.

Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili emerged as the leader of the winning coalition in the election.