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Ramaphosa back in Lesotho

by Lesotho Times
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Keiso Mohloboli

SOUTH Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who arrived in Lesotho yesterday, is today expected to meet Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander, Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao, over the implementation of the Maseru Security Accord signed on 23 October 2014.

Under the Accord, Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli, Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao of the LDF, and Lesotho Mounted Police Service Commissioner Khothatso Tšooana, would go to a Southern African Development Community (SADC) or Commonwealth country on special leave within 21 days, to allow the restoration of cordial relations between the two feuding security agencies.

Lt Gen Mahao last night confirmed today’s meeting with Mr Ramaphosa, who facilitated the Maseru Security Accord under the authority of SADC.

“I have been invited to a one-on-one meeting with Mr Ramaphosa and we will be discussing where I will be going for my special leave of absence. We are also going to discuss the implementation of the Maseru Security Accord,” Lt Gen Mahao said.

Lt Gen Mahao refused to discuss where he would want to go for the special leave, and told the Lesotho Times: “The public will know, in due course, where I will be going, but at the moment I don’t want my freedom of thought and action to be jeopardised.”

Contacted for comment yesterday, Mr Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, told the Lesotho Times he was not in a position to reveal who the deputy president would be meeting and when.

“I can’t tell you who he will be meeting tomorrow but Mr Ramaphosa would be coming to build and consolidate on the recently-signed Maseru Facilitation Declaration (MFD) and Maseru Security Accord, which were signed on 2 and 23 October 2014 respectively,” Mr Mamoepa said.

The MFD was signed by all the country’s political leaders for parliament to reopen on 17 October and dissolved two months later, and early elections held in February 2015, instead of the initial 2017.

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