Up to SADC to decide what action to take on Lesotho situation

05 September 2017 - 19:13 By Graeme Hosken
Lesotho Defence Force. File photo
Lesotho Defence Force. File photo
Image: Facebook/Lesotho Times

It will be up to the Southern African Development Community to discuss the assassination of the Lesotho Defence Force chief‚ Khoantle Motsomotso‚ and any possible military intervention.

Motsomotso was shot dead earlier on Tuesday by senior defence force officers‚ sparking fears of another attempted coup in the Mountain Kingdom.

In 2015‚ the country was rocked by an attempted military coup resulting in early elections.

Defence force spokesman‚ Siphiwe Dlamini told TimesLIVE that the situation prevailing in Lesotho was a SADC matter.

He said that in the recent past up until the successful elections the situation had been dealt with by the SADC.

"The prevailing situation will now still require a SADC intervention‚" he said when asked if South African troops were being placed on high alert.

Motsomotso was shot dead when two of his subordinates forced their way into his office at the Lesotho defence force headquarters in Maseru.

Joy Peters‚ spokesman for South African defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula‚ earlier told TimesLIVE that the minister was locked in discussions "with all relevant stakeholders" over the Lesotho situation.

Lesotho's permanent secretary for the Ministry of Defence and National Security‚ Tanki Mothae‚ confirmed that the shooting had taken place at the military's headquarters.

"The incident happened between 9am and 10am today. All three are members of the defence force. An investigation is underway to ascertain the circumstances around the shooting."

He said members of the Lesotho Defence Force‚ who were stationed both in and outside of Maseru‚ had been addressed by their commanders.

"Obviously there was a lot of confusion. Troops were addressed to restore calm."

Mothae said that he had been in contact with the various embassies in Lesotho to inform them of the situation.

"The situation at the time in Maseru is calm. Life is carrying on as normal‚" he said.

- TimesLIVE