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Ramaphosa to unveil Oversight Committee



Cyril RamaphosaBilly Ntaote

SADC Facilitator to Lesotho, Cyril Ramaphosa, will soon visit Lesotho to introduce members of the regional body’s Oversight Committee to political stakeholders in the country.

The Oversight Committee is meant to act as an early warning mechanism in the event of instability in Lesotho and was established by an Extraordinary Summit of the Double Troika held on 3 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The committee is also tasked with providing assistance in the implementation of constitutional, security and public sector reforms in Lesotho.

Mr Ramaphosa, who is also South African deputy president, was appointed as SADC facilitator in 2014 to assist Lesotho address underlying issues to the country’s political instability.

Mr Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, said in a statement the Oversight Committee would work closely with the SADC facilitator.

He said Mr Ramaphosa on Friday held a meeting with former premier and All Basotho Convention leader Thomas Thabane, Basotho National Party leader Thesele ‘Maseribane and Reformed Congress of Lesotho leader Keketso Rantšo in Pretoria.

The opposition leaders fled Lesotho in May 2015 saying they feared for their lives after being alerted of a plot to kill them by the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). However, the LDF has consistently denied the allegations.

Mr Mamoepa said Mr Ramaphosa briefed the exiled opposition leaders on deliberations and outcomes of the 36th Ordinary SADC Summit held in Mbabane, Swaziland in August 2016 regarding regional efforts to assist Lesotho “to consolidate peace and stability”.

“Deputy President Ramaphosa highlighted the SADC Summit decisions on the constitutional and security sector reform processes, efforts to facilitate the return of exiled political leaders and the deployment of the Oversight Committee,” he said.

“In this regard, Deputy President Ramaphosa will soon pay a working visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho to introduce members of the Oversight Committee to all relevant stakeholders in the country.”

Mr Mamoepa said Mr Ramaphosa would also use the visit to “review progress regarding implementation of SADC decisions on the Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry and the Facilitator’s recommendations on the constitutional and security reform process”.

The 10-member SADC Inquiry led by Botswana’s Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi was convened after the killing former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao. The former LDF chief was allegedly resisting arrest for suspected mutiny when he was killed by his colleagues outside his Mokema farm on 25 June 2015. However, the Mahao family and SADC inquiry have disputed that claim.

After the killing, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili asked SADC to help establish the circumstances surrounding the tragedy with the inquiry carrying out its investigations between 31 August and 23 October 2015.


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