Lesotho, South Africa discuss issues of Mutual Interest

Lesotho, South Africa discuss issues of Mutual Interest

Lesotho, South Africa discuss issues of Mutual Interest

Lesotho, South Africa discuss issues of Mutual Interest

The Prime Minister, Mr. Sam Ntsokoane Matekane and the President of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa discussed issues of mutual interest intended to improve bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries at a meeting held at Mahlamba-Ndlovu in Pretoria on Saturday.

Among other issues, both leaders noted the relations between the two countries are warm and cordial and are underpinned by geography, common history, culture and language, and they agreed to immediately implement the Bi-National Commission of Cooperation (BNC), which is a framework of cooperation between the two countries that was signed in November 2021.

The leaders also agreed to implement the free movement of people, goods, and services between these countries, particularly considering the unique geographic position of the Kingdom of Lesotho. They also discussed cooperation in the fields of Education and Health.

Mr. Matekane and Mr. Ramaphosa further agreed to work together in uprooting the cross-border crime committed by nationals of both countries, the illegal mining menace that has ravaged South Africa and therefore resulting in massive losses of lives of the citizens of both countries.

They further agreed to work together towards ensuring that the African Continent Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) is implemented for the benefit of the people of both countries hence mandating the relevant ministries and officials of both countries to meet on Tuesday, February 07, to look into how best the two countries could push this agenda forward.

It was in the same meeting where the Prime Minister, Mr. Matekane briefed President Ramaphosa on the Lesotho National Reforms Programme and the vision of the Government of Lesotho on implementing the programme.

Mr. Matekane lastly thanked the President for gracing his inauguration with his presence and for his support to Lesotho, and that the Republic of South Africa, as Basotho seek to find lasting peace, stability and economic prosperity. They, therefore, committed to further nourishing and strengthening further the ties between these countries on which the future and sheer survival of the peoples of both countries depend.

In response to LENA’S question about the so called cordial and warm relations between Lesotho and RSA while some Basotho are being assaulted frequently in RSA, Prime Minister’s Press Attaché’ Mr. Thapelo Mabote indicated that in some cases victims of assault are sometimes innocent people while in other times victims are those who have been found doing criminal activities, therefore making it difficult to differentiate between them.

Mr. Mabote concluded by indicating that this issue was thoroughly discussed by the two leaders, and he urged Basotho to abstain from any criminal activity while RSA

The Prime Minister delegation included coalition partners Mr. Selibe Mochoboroane and Prof. NtoI Rapapa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Mr. Lejone Mpojoane.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.