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Truth commission required in Lesotho, says Prince Seeiso

Prince Seeiso was among those who met President Cyril Ramaphosa on his visit to the Mountain Kingdom on Thursday.

FILE: Sentebale founding patron Prince Seeiso of Lesotho delivers a speech during the 'Sentebale Summer Party' in London on 7 May 2014. Picture: AFP

MASERU - Lesotho's King Letsie III’s brother Prince Seeiso said the most important way for Lesotho to move forward was through reconciliation.

Prince Seeiso was among those who met President Cyril Ramaphosa on his visit to the Mountain Kingdom on Thursday. He said he acknowledged that people had been hurt, but dwelling on the past would keep the country in crisis.

The straight-talking prince was the first member of the royal family to condemn government regulations that had forced wool farmers export through a Chinese-run broker.

• Ramaphosa visits troubled Lesotho

He met Ramaphosa on the ongoing political crisis and reforms, and he called on leaders to let bygones be bygones.

“Every time we talk about going forward, we must talk about the politics of the 1950s, 1970, and 1975 – we will not move forward because we keep on looking back. What have we learned about the mistakes that they made? So, we have to make peace with our history and move forward.”

Prince Seeiso said a truth and reconciliation process was one of the ways to work towards lasting peace in Lesotho.

AGREEMENT TO OPEN PARLIAMENT

Government and the opposition in Lesotho on Thursday also signed an agreement to open Parliament to legislative reforms. However, only the legislature structures will open that will ensure that constitutional reforms happen within 18 months.

The agreement was brokered by retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke on the behalf of the president, who is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator for Lesotho.

• Pressure mounts on Lesotho’s Tom Thabane to step down

But the opposition was not making guarantees about the motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Tom Thabane.

Thabane said Ramaphosa’s successful mediation in Lesotho was an indication that the SADC region was capable of resolving its challenges.

He said he was excited by the progress.

“To sort out problems that were beginning to look unattainable and problems that were beginning to look as though there was something worth [not] celebrating. Those problems have through the diplomacy and the ability of President Ramaphosa to be solved.”

Meanwhile, the leader of opposition in Parliament Mathibeli Mokhothu said they would adhere to SADC conditions for the reforms to be concluded.

“The motion of no will be there in Parliament, but the order is the enactment of these structures pertaining to the reforms, but we cannot hold the country as a democracy at ransom because of reforms.

“The entire Constitution has to be changed because it allows the depoliticisation of public service and the appointment of statutory positions,” Mokhothu said.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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