Parly business stalls talks

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Keiso Mohloboli

The follow-up meeting between the government and leadership of the opposition which had been expected to take place this week could not be held due to parliament business.

The two parties met in Modderpoort, South Africa, last week to discuss the return of opposition leaders who fled to South Africa in May last year after claiming their lives were in danger.

All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane, Basotho National Party (BNP) leader Thesele ‘Maseribane and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) leader Keketso Rantšo have been living in South Africa since that time, and last week’s talks discussed their return back home.

The government was represented by Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister Tlohang Sekhamane and his Home Affairs counterpart, Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane, in the talks.

The Christian Council of Lesotho was represented by Archbishop Tlali Lerotholi of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Adam Taaso of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and Reverend Tšeliso Masemene of the Lesotho Evangelical Church of Southern Africa in the meeting.

Dr Thabane and Chief ‘Maseribane did not attend the talks but Ms Rantšo was part of the RCL delegation, which also comprised deputy leader Dr Motloheloa Phooko and secretary general ‘Mamolula Ntabe.

The ABC was represented by its deputy leader Tlali Khasu, secretary general Samonyane Ntsekele and chairperson Motlohi Maliehe in the meeting, while the BNP delegation comprised the party’s deputy leader Joang Molapo, chairperson Dr Nthabiseng Makoae and political consultant Professor Kopano Makoa.

After the meeting, Ms Rantšo told the Lesotho Times that a follow-up meeting was expected this week.

However, Mr Sekhamane yesterday said the meeting would not be held this week.

“The delegation agreed that we must not disclose anything regarding the talks, to the media, but what I can tell you is that there won’t be any meeting this week. Advocate Rakuoane and I have been busy with the national budget in the National Assembly. We will still be busy tomorrow and Friday is Moshoeshoe’s Day, so we will not be able to arrange the meeting this week,” Mr Sekhamane said.

On their part, Mr Ntsekele, Chief ‘Maseribane and Ms Rantšo said they were waiting communication from the government regarding the talks.

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