JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu travelled to Lesotho on Friday to apologise to King Letsie III after he was recently “mistreated” at the border by SA border officials.
Sisulu's spokesman Ndivhuwo Mubaya confirmed that Sisulu made the damage-control trip to the landlocked kingdom specifically to apologise to the king for the border incident, the exact details of which are unclear.
On Tuesday senior SA government officials intervened to quell the diplomatic spat after the king said he was aggrieved by the way he had been treated.
The high-level government intervention involved Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba travelling to the border following reports that aggrieved Basotho were planning to block the busy border post.
Following the spat Sisulu expressed her sincerest apologies to Lesotho's foreign minister on Tuesday and confirmed she would travel to the kingdom to apologise in person.
She also held an urgent meeting with her Lesotho counterpart at the conclusion of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers hosted in Pretoria.
"We are very concerned about what might happen there at the border post and therefore we needed to ensure that we can normalise the situation," said the foreign minister.
Animated pictures of Sisulu and the King sitting together laughing and joking suggest the minister has succeeded in dousing the flames and restoring confidence between the two countries.
African News Agency/ANA