Lesotho: Exiled Opposition Leaders Return

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Pretoria — SADC Facilitator and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded a successful working visit to Maseru where he welcomed back to the Kingdom of Lesotho three former exiled opposition political party leaders.

The three leaders — former Prime Minister and leader of the All-Basotho Convention Dr. Tom Thabane, former Minister Theselle Maseribane and Keketso Rantsho, leader of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho — were welcomed at a function held at Avani Lesotho hotel on Sunday.

“Their return to Lesotho is a culmination of efforts and decision of the SADC [Southern African Development Community] Double Troika summit of Heads of State and Government held in Gaborone, Botswana, in 2016, which mandated the Facilitator, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to facilitate the return of the three leaders back home.

“Deputy President Ramaphosa held discussions with family members of the late Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao and later held bilateral discussions with former Prime Minister Thabane before addressing a media briefing to welcome the three leaders back home,” the Presidency said on Sunday.

Today’s visit follows a working visit to Lesotho on Friday, 10 February to assess progress regarding constitutional and security sector reforms and the implementation of recommendations of the Phumaphi Commission of Inquiry.

Deputy President Ramaphosa paid a courtesy call on King Letsie III, Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili, government coalition partners, church and NGO sector leaders as well as representatives of the College of Chiefs.

SADC, the Presidency said, remains committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure the stabilisation of the political and security situation in Lesotho and has committed itself to second experts to assist that country as it embarks on constitutional and security sector reforms.

Deputy President Ramaphosa is now back in the country.