Lesotho ‘needs a lasting solution’

Johannesburg -

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday welcomed the SADC decision to help resolve the political impasse in Lesotho following an alleged coup.

A member of the Lesotho military looks on as he stands guard in front of an armed personnel carrier at the entrance of the army barracks in the capital, Maseru, on August 30, 2014. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko. Credit: Reuters

“The SADC troika on defence, politics and security... must be congratulated for averting continued tensions following the seizure of key buildings and installations by the Lesotho defence force over the past weekend,” spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

“We trust that the people of Lesotho, supported by SADC and the African Union, will find, through democratic practices and peaceful dialogue, a lasting solution to the challenges confronting the kingdom.”

On Monday, Southern African Development Community leaders agreed to send observers and security personnel to Lesotho.

South African President Jacob Zuma, the chairman of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security co-operation, met a delegation consisting of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, his deputy Mothetjoa Metsing and Morena TJ Maseribane, the minister of gender and youth, sports and recreation, in Pretoria.

The leaders of the coalition government agreed to remove the parliament prorogation.

Leaders of Lesotho have been at loggerheads since June when the prime minister suspended parliament to avoid a vote of no confidence.

On Saturday, the Lesotho army disarmed police in the capital Maseru, saying they had received information police were planning to supply arms to participants in a demonstration.

Thabane called the action a coup attempt and said he fled to South Africa for his safety and for talks.

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has condemned the Lesotho military's alleged coup.

“Cosatu deplores any such unconstitutional overthrow of an elected government by force, for which there can be absolutely no justification,” national spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.

“The only people who can change the government are the citizens of Lesotho in a national election.” - Sapa