11 June 2017

Lesotho - No Coup On Our Watch, Says South Africa

Photo: Lesotho Times
Officials assist a voter in Lesotho.

The South African government has issued a very clear and blunt warning that it would not tolerate a military coup in troubled Lesotho.

Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has made it emphatically clear that a coup in Lesotho will n0t be tolerated.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had been asked at a media briefing what her government would do if, as some fear, the Lesotho Defence Force did not accept the new government led by Tom Thabane and his All Basotho Convention (ABC).

"The coup thing is clear... We will not allow it to happen. Not in our backyard," Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said.

"That's not a threat. That's just the way it is."

The ABC won the largest number of seats, 48, in the June 3 legislative elections, but this was not an absolute majority in the 120-seat Parliament. So Thabane has formed a fragile coalition with three smaller parties, giving him a slender 3-seat majority.

His new government has not yet been sworn in, though.

Though defeated Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili announced his resignation on Friday, his controversial deputy Mothetjoa Metsing caused some disquiet the same day by announcing that "there...

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