Lesotho: Coalition govt needs time
Dirco says talks have gone well, but parties have requested more time.
JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Coorperation (Dirco) says the coalition partners of the Lesotho government have requested more time to discuss a peace deal following an intervention by President Jacob Zuma this week.
Zuma returned to South Africa after a one day visit to rescue a peace deal that should have seen the reconstitution of Parliament.
But former Lesotho military commander, Lieutenant Tlali Kamoli, has taken control of the country's elite Special Forces Unit and calls have been made for a special Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployment to ensure peace.
He has refused to step down as the commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, despite being fired for alleged corruption involving millions of rands.
Dirco spokesman Clayson Monyela says the talks have gone well.
"President Zuma had a meeting with the leaders of the coalition government in Lesotho. They requested more time to consult among themselves. The president was also able to brief the King of Lesotho."
After three hours in Lesotho, Zuma got an undertaking from the coalition to hold further talks.
The goal will be to reopen the country's Parliament that was suspended in June by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
Zuma told reporters the parties are just about to get there, however, there is no solution to the security threat they facing.
Kamoli has been accused of destabilising the mountain kingdom by masterminding a coup and has now reportedly seized an unknown number of weapons from state armouries.
Lesotho's army said it had not tried to oust Thabane, but rather moved against police suspected of planning to arm a political faction.
One policeman was shot dead and four others wounded.
The unrest stems from a power struggle between Thabane, who is supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, who has the loyalty of the army.