Kgathi Happy With SADC Mission

Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi has commended SADC leaders for their efforts to restore peace in Lesotho.

He expressed happiness that the extraordinary summit of the heads of state of the SADC double troika in Pretoria endorsed the report and recommendations of the SADC facilitator, South African Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mr Kgathi said the summit urged the government and all political stakeholders in Lesotho to implement the recommendations.

Speaking at a lunch in honour of the Minister of Defence and National Security and the Minister of Police and Public Safety of Lesotho in Gaborone recently, Mr Kgathi said it was distressing for Botswana and the SADC region to see Lesotho going through instability and uncertainty.

He said the deteriorating political and security situation unfolding in Lesotho was exacerbated by the death of the former commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, Brigadier Mahao Maaparankoe, and the subsequent exodus of main opposition leaders out of the country.

He said he was confident that stability would return to Lesotho if all remained steadfast in their resolve to promote the tenets of democracy and good governance.

He said relations between Botswana and Lesotho span many years, adding that the two countries boasted numerous shared cultural values, including language.

Minister Kgathi said it was therefore fitting that the two ministers chose Botswana in their official benchmarking trip.

He said Botswana took pride in its long standing observance of the independence of the police, the army, the Attorney General and the administration of justice.

He said the bodies were free of political, executive or any other influence in the discharge of their functions.

For his part, Lesotho’s Minister of Police and Public Security, Mr Monyane Moleleki said if there was something they did wrong in Lesotho, it was to let politics influence the running of the police, the army and the administration of justice.

He cited incidences where merit was never a consideration in promoting junior army and police officers. He said the practice caused instability in the two institutions. Mr Moleleki promised Mr Kgathi that they would put what they had learnt into practice in their country to ensure that stability and peace reign in Lesotho.