NEWS

No Coup In Lesotho Will Be Tolerated, Says Nkoana-Mashabane

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says SA wil not tolerate a coup in the mountain kingdom.

12/06/2017 07:13 SAST | Updated 12/06/2017 07:13 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
A man casts his ballot during the national elections at Ha-Mampho Village outside the capital Maseru, Lesotho June 3, 2017.

As uncertainty mounts over the military accepting the recent election results in Lesotho, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has warned that South Africa will not tolerate a coup in that country.

News24 reported on Monday that the minister made the remarks at a briefing at Luthuli House on Sunday.

Former prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili lost the election in Lesotho on June 3, and his rival, Tom Thabane, won 48 out of 120 parliamentary seats. Thabane was prime minister before Mosisili took over 18 months ago.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was reportedly tasked with facilitating a peaceful transition of power.

Nkoana-Mashabane reportedly said on Sunday: "Not in any corner of our [Southern African Development Community], not in any corner of our continent will we ever tolerate a military coup.

"This was made very, very clear to everyone in Lesotho two weeks ago. They have just had an election a year and a half ago, and they have also undertaken to go back to the reforms [on the role of the police and the military, which have been supporting leaders from opposing parties] which they themselves say has bedevilled focus on governance.

"So the coup thing, I think it is as clear as [daylight], we will not allow it to happen, not in our backyard. That's not a threat; it's just the way it is."

Nkoana-Mashabane said plans were in place to set up a new government.

"The results have been announced. We haven't officially been informed of any other thing that is otherwise," she said.

"So we take it that Lesotho's election has gone ahead and that there will be that acceptance. Of course, we will continue to monitor and support the Basotho in their endeavour to find peace," she said.