9 August 2017

Lesotho: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa On Progress in Lesotho

press release

Remarks by Deputy President and SADC Facilitator Cyril Ramaphosa and Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane after their Bilateral Meeting in Maseru

Deputy President and SADC Facilitator

Thank you very much, we as the SADC Facilitation process also accompanied by Oversight Committee Chairperson have come to Lesotho to find out how the process is unfolding in Lesotho following the very successful elections that they held and the formation of the new government.

We have also dealt with issues that have to do with what SADC Summit decided the last time in relation to the holding of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue that is meant to, in an inclusive way, address the issues of reforms - security reforms, constitutional reforms, media reforms and public service reforms.

We are very pleased to have received a report from the Honourable Prime Minister that Government of Lesotho (composed of the coalition) is determined to move ahead with the holding of the Multi-Party Stakeholder Dialogue where these issues that have been raised by SADC will be addressed.

We are very pleased to have heard that it will be as inclusive as possible. And In fact that the process is already underway and the process will be led by Basotho themselves.

It will be a homegrown process; it will be organic with SADC playing a supportive role.

That pleases us exceedingly and we will be able to table a very forward looking and positive report to the SADC summit as both the Facilitator as well as the Oversight Committee and inform the leaders of the region that Lesotho is now firmly on the road to embracing stability and that Lesotho is firmly on the road of implementing the Phumaphi Commission recommendations as well as embarking on the constitutional, security reforms, media reforms and public service reforms that were identified by the Double Troika of SADC as key issues that will enable Lesotho to move up the ladder and be a very stable democracy.

We are very happy with the way things are going now in Lesotho and I think we can look forward to great progress being made as the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue process moves on.

Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane

Well we thank you very much for coming, the Facilitator and his mission are here and they have come here to facilitate and from what they have told us this morning is that the facilitation process is in full gear and we have no choice now as leadership in Lesotho, by leadership I mean leadership in government and leadership in the opposition, but to listen to what SADC says and do it because it is the right thing.

When we have had problems, we have called SADC to help us. When we are doing something that is not quite correct and SADC says it is not correct, we must give them an ear. SADC they are not children, they are our friends, they are our colleagues they are our comrades, and they are people with whom we happen to be in the same region and therefore share the same problems, breath the same air, drink the same water. In fact the water in Johannesburg that Deputy President will be drinking when he gets to his house comes from the mountains of Lesotho.

Nothing could be greater than in showing the strength of this region. Thank you very much and your delegation for coming this morning and for the wisdom that you are leaving behind which we need to follow.

As leader of the government group, I assure you that we will do everything to stop being the bad boy of SADC. Enough is enough.

I had a friend who had a very strong West African accent, there is nothing wrong with that because that is what happens in parts of the world, people pronounce things in different ways and he said enough is enough. And as far as we are concerned, enough is enough.

Thank you very much indeed to you and your delegation for always taking time off from your very busy schedules to attend to our problems. We want to assure you that when next you come, you will be coming to celebrate not to worry so much about our problems which as I said, are terribly solvable. We promise to stop being the bad boy of SADC.

Thank you very much.

Issued by: The Presidency


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