Opposition postpones crucial indaba



Billy Ntaote

A meeting of opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) and their leaders, which had been scheduled for Thursday in Ficksburg, South Africa, was cancelled at the 11th hour and postponed to tomorrow.

Among the issues to be discussed at the crucial indaba is the MPs’ boycott of the National Assembly which began in June last year.

The legislators have been boycotting parliamentary sittings to protest their leaders’ exile and the country’s security challenges.

All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane, his Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) and Basotho National Party (BNP) counterparts Keketso Rantšo and Thesele ‘Maseribane respectively, have been living in South Africa since they fled Lesotho in May last year after claiming the military was plotting to kill them.

Meanwhile, the Ficksburg meeting would also discuss Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi’s report into the killing of former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) commissioned Justice Phumaphi to lead a 10-member team of legal and security experts in investigating Lieutenant-General Mahao’s killing on 25 June last year just outside Maseru and Lesotho’s other security-related issues. Lieutenant-General Mahao was shot dead by his colleagues who had come to arrest him for allegedly being the ringleader of a group of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members plotting a mutiny.

After the killing, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili requested SADC to help establish the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, resulting in the Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry which conducted its investigation between 31 August and 23 October 2015.

After the probe, the commissioners produced a report, in which they made several recommendations regarding the country’s return to stability.

Among the recommendations was that government should ensure the safe return of the three exiled opposition leaders, as well as security reforms.

However, none of the recommendations have been implemented to date, with Dr Mosisili announcing government would only effect those which are implementable.

ABC secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, told the Sunday Express the meeting would now be taking place tomorrow after its postponement on Thursday.

“The meeting is going to discuss our boycott of the National Assembly and the contents of the Phumaphi report,” said Mr Ntsekele.

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Sunday Express

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