Media Statement

06 April 2018

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu pays Courtesy Call on Lesotho King Letsie III

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon Lindiwe Sisulu today, 06 April 2018 paid a Courtesy Call on the King of Lesotho, His Majesty King Letsie III to discuss among other things, the challenges at the Maseru Bridge, a border between South Africa and Lesotho.

On the margins of the recently held SADC Council of Ministers, Minister Sisulu received a briefing from her counterpart Minister Lesego Makgothi about the unfortunate and regrettable incident at the border in which His Majesty the King was affected. In her response to Minister Makgothi, Minister Sisulu undertook to travel to Lesotho to personally convey an apology to His Majesty the King for the inconvenience caused.

In her meeting with His Majesty the King, Minister Sisulu conveyed the message that the South African government was working on increasing capacity at the border post and also finding a permanent solution geared to managing the travel movements of the King, and eminent persons travelling between South Africa and Lesotho. This will also positively affect frequent travellers between the two countries.

"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.

"Minister of Home Affairs, Hon Gigaba will not be alone in solving these challenges. We are all including the Free State Government fully committed to urgently attend to matters of migration between the two countries. The Basotho did not discriminate against us during our struggle for freedom, we are effectively one people", added Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu also paid a Courtesy Call on the Lesotho Prime Minister, Hon Tom Thabane who conveyed his condolences on behalf of the Lesotho government to the people of South Africa as they mourn the loss of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Prior to a meeting with the King, Minister Sisulu visited Home Affairs officials at the Maseru Bridge to receive a briefing on the operations at the border. She also used the opportunity to interact with travellers.

Minister Sisulu was accompanied by the Free State Premier Hon Sisi Ntombela, South African High Commissioner to Lesotho H.E Amb. Sello Moloto, Free State MEC for Health Mr Butana Komphela, MEC for Sports and Recreation Ms Mathabi Leeto and MEC for Public Works Ms Dora Kotze.

Ndivhuwo Mabaya: 083 645 7838

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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