Maseru, Lesotho, 8 August 2017: SADC has learnt with shock, dismay and sadness about the assassination of the Commander of Lesotho Defence Force, Lt. General Khoantle Motsomotso. Following the shockingdevelopments, the Chair of the Organ H.E President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola dispatched a SADC Organ Troika Plus SADC Chair, Ministerial Fact Finding Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The mission comprised of representatives from the Organ Troika; Angola, Zambia and Tanzania, as well as South Africa, the SADC Chairperson. The Mission was led by Hon. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of Angola and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ. The Mission was supported by the SADC Executive Secretary who was accompanied by the Chiefs and staff of the SADC Standby Force.
During a press briefing on7 September 2017, at the Avani Lesotho Hotel Convention Centre, Hon. Minister Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, indicated that the objective of the fact finding mission to Lesotho was to gather and review information on the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Lt General Motsomotso. To this end, the mission undertook consultations with relevant stakeholders with a view to ensuring the maintenance of peace, stability and national unity in the Kingdom of Lesotho. He further, indicated that the Fact Finding Mission paid a courtesy call on His Majesty, King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho. The Mission also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Lesotho, the Right Honourable Dr Thomas Thabane and undertook consultations with various ministers, opposition leaders, and a wide range of stakeholders who included faith based organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The mission also visited the scene of the crime.
The report of the mission will be presented to SADC decision making structures for consideration. While assuring the people of Lesotho of SADC’s continued support, the Minister emphasized that it is important for the people of Lesotho to unite and bring about the much needed sustainable peace and tranquility to their country.
On behalf of the Government and the people of Lesotho, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho the Right Honourable Dr Thomas Thabane, has thanked and expressed his appreciation for SADC’s speedy response to the unfortunate and untimely passing of Lt Gen Khoantle Motsomotso which was undertaken in the true African spirit of commiserating with those who are bereaved.
(Photo above) L-R: Hon. Harry Kalaba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia, H.E Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC Executive Secretary, His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Hon. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of Angola and Chair of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ.