Lesotho’s Prime Minister, Sam Matekane, has cut all planned engagements back home to meet his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa this Friday.
Through a government notice, the office of the Prime Minister said a planned meeting with the country’s business community would be pushed back to a date yet to be announced.
“This is due to an official engagement between the Prime Minister of Lesotho the Rt Hon Sam Matekane and the President of the Republic of South Africa H.E Cyril Ramaphosa,” the office said.
On Wednesday, Matekane met with leaders of state-owned entities and was due to meet the business community but issues arising between SA and Lesotho take precedence.
Diplomatic sources told News24 that among other issues, migration will be discussed.
“They will meet in Pretoria. The two leaders were due to engage last week but other commitments made it impossible. But with new developments such as the deportation of the Basotho from Newcastle, that too will likely be discussed,” said Thapelo Mabote from the Prime Minister’s office.
Last week more than 400 Basotho nationals were deported from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Lesotho government dispatched buses to collect its nationals. It was reported that the deportees were illegal emigrants and others who had overstayed in SA.
However, in a statement, Lesotho accused SA of violating bilateral agreements between the two countries.
Particularly the “free movement agreement,” the Lesotho government claimed.
Mabote said the main aim of the visit to SA was initially a courtesy call since Matekane was new in office and SA played a big role in the Lesotho political crisis mediation at the behest of SADC.
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Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Migration Network (SAMIN) is convening the third Regional Policy Conference at the University of the Witwatersrand.
In a statement, SAMIN said it was part of its objectives to realise economic development, peace, and security, in the process enhancing the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa.
It will be held under the theme, “Promoting evidence-based and people-centered migration policies in contemporary Southern Africa: Analysis of free mobility related vulnerabilities, causes, challenges, and opportunities”.
Civil society, academia, policymakers, and refugee and migrant rights activists are expected to attend.
“We are driven by the imperative to empower and build the capacity of a small group of civil society organisations who are interested in advocacy.
“This is so that they may make meaningful contributions to migration-related policies and decision-making processes at the national, regional, and international levels,” said Janet Munakamwe from the African Diaspora Workers Network (ADWN).—News24