Amount spent by South Africa on facilitating the peace process in Lesotho, specifically with regard to police deployment and the transportation of Lesotho’s political leaders to and from Maseru for talks
FOR ORAL REPLY
QUESTION NO: 242 (NO3067E)
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO.7-2015 OF 12 AUGUST 2015
Mr S Mokgalapa (DA) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:
What amount has the country spent thus far on facilitating the peace process in Lesotho, specifically with regard to (a) police deployment and (b) the transportation of Lesotho’s political leaders to and from Maseru for talks?
a) The South African Development Community (SADC) Double Troika plus two (Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania) Summit held on 15 September 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa agreed that SADC would immediately support the Kingdom of Lesotho in the restoration of peace and security, by deploying a SADC Politics, Defence and Security Observation Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
South Africa’s contribution towards the deployment of police during the SADC Observation Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SOMILES) amounted to R 46, 404, 091.23
The SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (MCO) during its meeting held from 20-21 July 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa reviewed the principles guiding the management of budgetary requirements of the SOMILES and agreed to reimburse Member States of the actual expenditures incurred towards the deployment of the SOMILES.
The process for re-imbursement is currently underway; South Africa has submitted invoices to the SADC Secretariat in this regard.
b) As far as we know, Lesotho’s political leaders transported themselves to and from Maseru for talks.
- South Africa’s involvement in mediation efforts in the Kingdom of Lesotho has been conducted through a multilateral approach and under the auspicious of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This approach is consistent with our Foreign Policy objectives and prior mediation efforts.
- In terms of diplomatic and political relevance, South Africa is indeed the current chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation; hence it is mandated under SADC to lead the mediation efforts in Lesotho.
- Additionally, South Africa remains historically, culturally, socially and geographically linked to the Kingdom of Lesotho. It remains within our national interest to see Lesotho and its citizens live in a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country.
- President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation appointed the Deputy President to Lesotho as the SADC Facilitator in 2014.
- The Deputy President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, has led these mediation efforts in his capacity as the SADC Facilitator to Lesotho, and has been praised for his work.
- The Deputy President’s role as SADC Facilitator was renewed by the SADC Extra Ordinary Double Troika Heads of State Summit on 3 July 2015 in Pretoria, held in the aftermath of the death of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao.
- At the SADC Extra Ordinary Double Troika Summit, the SADC Facilitator’s Report was received, resulting in the formation of a SADC Commission on Inquiry to investigate the death of Brigadier Mahao, and the establishment of an Oversight Committee to assist Lesotho in implementation of Constitutional and Security Sector Reform.
- South Africa remains committed to supporting Lesotho bilaterally and will assist in any process determined by SADC regarding Lesotho.