President Cyril Ramaphosa with Prime Minister Tom Thabane and the Kingdom of Lesotho delegation at the Qhobosheaneng Government Complex in Maseru. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa has succeeded in a major breakthrough in Lesotho as the SADC facilitator on the national reform process.

Ramaphosa oversaw the political parties in Lesotho signing an agreement on Thursday to establish a statutory National Legislative Reform Authority that will co-ordinate the national reforms process in the kingdom.

The reform authority will be constituted in terms of an act of parliament, which will guide the country in effecting constitutional governance, security and media reforms. Ramaphosa welcomed the signing as an historic milestone that firmly set Lesotho on the road to reform.

“The Basotho people can celebrate the convergence of consensus that has led to this historic agreement and has built a strong foundation for reforms to go ahead,” Ramaphosa said at the conclusion of his visit.

Lesotho Prime Minister Thom Thabane assured Ramaphosa of the Lesotho coalition government’s commitment to implementing constitutional, security and other reforms facilitated by SADC.

Ramaphosa’s overriding objective in brokering discussions with the government and civil society was to secure political stability and development in Lesotho through a broad range of reforms. Ramaphosa met with political parties, the Christian Council of Lesotho, the Lesotho Council of NGOs, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the College of Chiefs, international partners, and the National Dialogue Planning Committee.

Ramaphosa will report on the latest developments to the SADC Heads of State meeting in August, in Tanzania. As part of the August Summit agenda, the region’s leaders will assess progress in constitutional and security reforms.

After assuming the position of President in 2018, Ramaphosa appointed former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to lead the SADC Facilitation Team on Lesotho’s national reforms process.

Ramaphosa said the agreement among parties represented in Lesotho’s parliament would enable South Africa to report that through the facilitation undertaken by Justice Moseneke. He said the people of Lesotho have been able to develop a homegrown solution to the instability that has affected the kingdom.

* Ebrahim is Group Foreign Editor.