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Mboweni sparks reaction after calling on SA & Lesotho to ‘remove the border’

Tito Mboweni, who studied at the National University of Lesotho in the 80s, was commenting on the political crisis in the Mountain Kingdom.

FILE: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni addressing the media prior to his annual Budget speech on 20 February 2018 in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has created a Twitter storm after saying that Lesotho should open its borders to a federal state with South Africa.

Mboweni, who studied at the National University of Lesotho in the 80s, was commenting on the political crisis in the Mountain Kingdom.

The country’s first lady, Maesiah Thabane, is on the run after police obtained a warrant for her arrest in connection with the killing of the Prime Minister Tom Thabane’s second wife, Lipolelo.

Thabane’s party, the All Basotho Convention, wants him to step down.

But for the past decade, the Southern African Development Community, African Union and European Unions and United Nations have all been consumed with stabilising Lesotho.

South Africa has become a mediator and the first stop for hundreds of thousands of Basotho economic migrants and refugees.

A debate about whether Lesotho should form part of South Africa or remain independent has raged for years. But Mboweni is the first cabinet minister to call for Lesotho and South Africa to form a federal government.

Many people have welcomed Mboweni’s remarks with some calling for a referendum. Others have criticised the finance minister.