SA, Lesotho ‘mistreatment’ resolved

The ‘unfortunate mistreatment’ of the King of Lesotho, His Majesty King Letsie III, earlier this year – which caused a diplomatic spat between the neighbouring basotho nation and South Africa – has been resolved. In a statement released last month by the Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho, Monyane Moleleki, who is also leader of the National Assembly, the Lesotho Government has condemned the manner in which its head of state was treated by South African Immigration officers at the Maseru Border Gate, a border between South Africa and Lesotho.

It is alleged that His Majesty's delegation and his vehicles were thoroughly searched and forced to wait at the border post for almost an hour on his way home on February 20 this year.On Friday last week, both South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela paid a courtesy call to the King of Lesotho to apologise for “unfortunate and regrettable incident”. 

Ntombela said the incident was a mistake which should never happen again. “We are not happy with the way in which the His Majesty King was treated at our border post… it was a mistake which should never happen again and we apologise to the Basotho nation for that,” said Ntombela.

Sisulu said that the government was also working towards finding a permanent solution which was aimed at making travel movements of the King and people travelling between the two countries less complicated.“We have come here to convey our apology to His Majesty the King, the Lesotho prime minister and to the entire Basotho nation for the inconvenience caused and also to explain to the King what we intend and are committed to do.

We are happy that our apology has been accepted,” said Sisulu.Sisulu's apology to the mountainous kingdom monarch comes less than a week after another high level South African team visited the border gate following the dispute.According to SABC, the home affairs minister was in Lesotho before Easter, meeting his Lesotho counterpart to find a lasting solution to the border crisis.

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