Cape Town - South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and second-in-command Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have arrived in neighbouring Botswana to participate in discussions regarding the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s political and security situation, the presidency said on Monday.
Spokesmen Bongani Majola and Ronnie Mamoepa said Zuma and Ramaphosa’s arrival in Gaborone where they would participate in the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Double Troika, scheduled to take place on Monday.
Majola said the Summit was expected to centre on the political and security situation in the SADC region, with a focus on Lesotho.
Under Zuma’s leadership, South Africa is participating in its capacity as outgoing chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation. Alongside Zuma and Ramaphosa were ministers international relations, defence and state security ministers Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and David Mahlobo.
In addition to his position as deputy president, Ramaphosa would fulfil his role as SADC-appointed facilitator on the situation in Lesotho. In December 2015, Ramaphosa visited Lesotho on the order of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
During his visit, Ramaphosa was to convey to the Kingdom of Lesotho SADC’s concern regarding a court challenge brought against the SADC Commission of Inquiry. The commission, chaired by Judge Mpaphi Phumaphi, was set up to look into instability in landlocked Lesotho as well as the death of late Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao.
Mahao, who was regarded a close ally of toppled Prime Minister Tom Thabane, was gunned down in June 2015 by a group of unidentified men.
“It is in this context that the Facilitator is expected to present his report on the outcomes of his visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho to the SADC Extra-Ordinary Double Troika Summit,” said Mamoepa.
Following delivery of the report, the Double Troika is expected to issue recommendations to the Lesotho government.
Other participating nations in the Double Troika are Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Tanzania.