Pretoria – South African senior government officials were on Tuesday, intervening to quell a diplomatic spat with neighbouring Kingdom of Lesotho after King Letsie III was “mistreated” at the border between the two nations.
“I’ve just had a meeting now with the foreign minister of Lesotho. As you know, we are experiencing problems at the border. The king of Lesotho is extremely aggrieved by the way he was treated at the border. I have expressed to him my sincerest apologies for this,” Foreign Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in Pretoria.
“I have indicated to him that I will personally go to Lesotho to apologise to the king for any mistreatment he might have encountered at our border.”
Sisulu said Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba was on Tuesday evening travelling to the border as part of the high level intervention, amidst reports that aggrieved Basotho are planning to block the busy border post.
“He [Gigaba] is on his way to the border post so that he can deal with some of the administrative problems that have been brought to our attention by the government of Lesotho,” said Sisulu.
South Africa’s top diplomat met her Lesotho counterpart on an urgent basis, at the conclusion of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers hosted in Pretoria.
“We are very concerned about what might happen there [at the border post] and therefore we needed to ensure that we can normalize the situation. The complaint from the king was uppermost in his mind,” said Sisulu. ANA