Metsing speaks out on Zuma meeting

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Billy Ntaote

South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa is expected in Lesotho either tomorrow or Monday next week to address security issues which have become the major bone of contention among the coalition government leaders.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator has come under pressure from Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Sports Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane, who believe he has not adequately addressed the issue since assuming his mediatory role in September last year. The other government partner, Mothetjoa Metsing says he does not have any problem with Mr Ramaphosa’s facilitation and further explained why the three leaders were in Pretoria on Monday this week, for a meeting with President Jacob Zuma.

“We went to South Africa as two opposing sides with different grievances which resulted in President Zuma and us, agreeing that Mr Ramaphosa should return to Lesotho as a matter of urgency to work on resolving the outstanding issues we raised.

“We expect him to arrive here on Friday or early next week, most likely Monday.

“Like I said, we had two divergent views; one side was complaining about security issues, while the other spoke about the violation of the Maseru Facilitation Declaration, the Maseru Security Accord and the Electoral Pledge, which as you know, were all meant to ensure a free and fair election, and were brokered by Mr Ramaphosa late last year,” said Mr Metsing.

“As the LCD leadership, we went there with grievances about the violation of the three agreements while the ABC and BNP were saying the security situation was still not conducive for holding elections. They said the issue should be addressed before the elections are held on 28 February,” Mr Metsing said.

He added the meeting also touched on allegations that there was dissatisfaction among us, the government leaders,  over Mr  Ramaphosa’s facilitation.

“On this one, we were united in appreciating the facilitation efforts by Mr Ramaphosa.

“It appeared the alleged complaints about his facilitation were falsehoods spread by the media as we all showed our support for his work,” Metsing said.

On his part, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson, Thabo Thakalekoala said: “The ongoing security crisis denies other politicians the chance to carry on with their political campaigns freely. This situation resulted in a certain unit of the army shooting the Prime Minister’s bodyguards near the Royal palace on their return from the Prime Minister’s political rall, last weekendy.

“The unstable security situation could affect everybody on the day of the election, which is why it should be addressed.”

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