SADC dismisses Lesotho’s court case issue

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 19 January 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax

The SADC Double Troika Summit which met in Gaborone on Monday has dismissed government of Lesotho’s suggestion that they cannot accept the report of the Commission of Inquiry as it is before the courts of law in Maseru. In a communiqué, the SADC Double Troika said that the regional block enjoys immunity as per the SADC Treaty and the SADC Protocol on Immunities and Privileges and urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to abide by the immunity provisions. “Any court decision taken against the Commission of Inquiry is of no legal effect, and will not bind SADC and institutions,” reads the communiqué which was read out by SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax at the regional block headquarters.

Last year one of the witnesses, Lesotho Defence Force Officer Tefo Hashatsi took the commission to court demanding that its work be nullified from the beginning. The SADC Double Troika raised a concern that the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho has not undertaken the constitutional public sector and security reforms and have urged the Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili-led government to prepare a road map for the implementation of the reforms as contained in the SADC facilitator’s final report. According to the communiqué, they are supposed to do that with the help of Organ Troika and the Secretariat and are expected to submit the report to the Summit in August this year. During the political turmoil that engulfed the Kingdom of Lesotho, some its leaders fled to South Africa including the former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

According to the recommendations from the report, the government of Lesotho and all political stakeholders are to provide a conducive environment allowing the safe return to Lesotho of the opposition leaders and members of the security forces who are in exile. The government of Lesotho has been tasked to provide feedback to the Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security cooperation and to publish the Phumaphi report within 14 days.