Government has recalled four more diplomats bringing the number of envoys who have been ordered to prematurely return home since the beginning of this month, to eight.
The latest group of returnees comprises Lesotho’s High Commissioner to South Africa, ‘Malejaka Letooane, Johannesburg Consul-General, Mophethe Sekamane, Durban Consul-General Lerato Tšosane and High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr ‘Mabaphuthi Moorosi Molapo.
The four join Bothata Tsikoane (India), Felleng Makeka (United Kingdom), Sempe Lejaha (Italy) and Nkopane Monyane (Switzerland) who were told to wind-up their business and be at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Headquarters on 9 November.
All the recalled officials assumed their posts during the three-party coalition government led by Dr Thomas Thabane, which vacated office midstream after failing to garner enough seats during the 28 February 2015 parliamentary elections, to remain in power.
Read the withdrawal letters endorsed by Foreign Affairs and International Relations minister Tlohang Sekhamane: “It has been decided that you be recalled from Foreign Service as I hereby do.
“You are therefore advised to wrap-up your personal affairs and report to the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations on 9 November 2015.
“Please note that you will revert to your position or a similarly graded position upon your arrival. Please allow me to thank you for the services you rendered to the government of Lesotho while serving abroad.”
Dr Molapo yesterday confirmed receiving Mr Sekhamane’s letter on Thursday last week and said he would be heading home as directed.
“I received a letter signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Sekhamane telling me to report to headquarters in Maseru in November. The letter only thanks me for the services I provided to government while in office here and doesn’t give many details,” said Dr Molapo from Malaysia.
“I am being recalled within my employment contract because it was supposed to end on 12 June 2017. The letter I received doesn’t say anything about buying out the contract. Maybe I will be told more when I come home.
“I don’t want to get into the inconveniences or rather, the blow of being recalled while my contract is still running.”
Asked to comment about his recall from Johannesburg, Mr Sekamane said he did not discuss his life with the media.
“I don’t discuss issues concerning my life with the media. I would advise you to ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations about the matter,” he said.
Repeated attempts to get a comment from Ms Letooane and Ms Tšosane were fruitless.
On his part, Minister Sekhamane last night said his office had in fact, recalled more than the aforementioned diplomats.
“It is unfortunate that I am not at the office right now to refer to my notes. I don’t want to give you misleading information but I can confirm that the number of diplomats we have recalled is actually more than the figure you have mentioned.”
According to the minister, Ms Tšosane, who was sent home pending investigations into her professional conduct, would remain suspended.
“Ms Tšosane was suspended while she was still staying in Durban. She has been recalled but that doesn’t mean investigations against her are going to be stopped. She is expected to come back home while investigations are still going on,” Mr Sekhamane said.