South Africa: Zuma meets Lesotho’s feuding politicians

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Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has summoned Lesotho’s political leaders for emergency talks, following this weekend’s coup which saw Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fleeing to South Africa amid fears for his safety.

Thabane left his Maseru home early on Saturday, hours before the army surrounded the property and overran police stations in the city.

South Africa’s Sunday Times later reported that the country’s special forces rescued the Lesotho Premier.

The feud is between Thabane, who is supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, who has the loyalty of the army.

Metsing on Monday confirmed that he is the acting Prime Minister.

Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, confirmed that talks between officials of both governments were held in Pretoria “throughout the night” and are expected to continue later on Monday, with President Zuma mediating.

In addition, the Foreign Ministers of South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have also met to find a solution.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged “all parties to refrain from violence and work together towards a peaceful and lasting resolution to their differences”, while the AU has rejected any unconstitutional change of government in Lesotho.

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