Metro Rate Cards

Petitioners demand apology from Makgothi

Foreign minister, Lesego Makgothi, in the firing line

Dec. 16, 2019 4 min read

4 min read

MASERU – Civil society body, Basotho Lead-Petitioners (BLP), says proven to have acted unilaterally in changing the country’s position of unadulterated support for the oppressed Saharawi people they demand drastic disciplinary measures against foreign minister Lesego Makgothi - and a public apology.

Speaking to this paper following the dispatch of a letter of solidarity to citizens of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) today, BLP Coordinator, Mpho Serobanyane, said the communication was in the main a confirmation of support from ordinary Basotho after Lesotho moved her position to rally behind global states backing the freedom of the Saharawi people, and condemning its occupation by neighbour Morocco.

“Yes, we authored the letter in solidarity with the Saharawi people, we sent it today…and though not expecting a formal response as such, we extend our support as a people after the diplomatic goof that purports to cut our ties,” Serobanyane said.

He pointed out that since government has already distanced itself from Makgothi’s declared shift of stance on the SADR, they planned to confront Qhobosheaneng for clarity and an official position once the minister lands in the country.

BLP is a non-denominational and apolitical grouping of citizens driven by passion and patriotism for a broad and permanent national interest; they also pursue restitution of ceded Basotho territories, as inspired by Section 1(2) of the constitution of Lesotho and authorized  in this pursuit by Section 20 therein.

Enjoy our daily newsletter from today

Access exclusive features and newsletters, along with previews of new media releases.

Metro News Digital

Get Your Online Newspaper

They are presently pursuing the restoration of Lesotho’s ceded land and territories (the Free State and some parts of the Eastern Cape originally known as Ha-kobo at Underburg) - under the Bloemfontein Convention in 1854, by the Great Britain.

In the December 12 solidarity letter the BLP “convey our message to the people of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in regard to their unattended long overdue grievance concerning the independence petition as a sovereign state of SADR.”

“We, hereby, acknowledge the right to being afforded a land and sovereignty as the indigenous inhabitants of the SADR. Land issue are of importance to the socio-economic of any country, we do understand the frustration the land issue has created for the people of the concerned country… as this matter affects the political landscape, security instability, economic instability,” the letter says.

The letter continues that: “As a sister country, we as Basotho nation, pursuit to Section 20 (1) (a) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Lesotho, RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN GOVERNMENT, Every citizen shall enjoy the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives, we, Basotho Lead-Petitioners on behalf of the concerned Basotho, will stand together with any country in a struggle to end the colonisation."

Basotho stood with and supported the Republic of South Africa during the apartheid era; we lived and dined with the Republic of South African refugees, protected them, and afforded them every right they deserved without being forced by any authority, the petitioners recall.

The BLP further applauded and appreciates the efforts of the UN, Morocco and the SADR as concerned states in the Western Sahara dispute, intervened by a UN-led process to reach an end.

“We also like to appreciate the role and the much harmonious discussions facilitated by the United Nations Secretary General, and the efforts by the United Nations Security Council to end the political impasse on the basis of Resolution 1813,” the BLP continues.

“We believe the bilateral relations between the concerned Basotho of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the peoples of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, will exist to the highest level. We also commend the Kingdom of Morocco with their commitment to the negotiations led by the United Nations,” the letter adds.

Minister Makgothi’s controversial declaration in Rabat, Morocco, last week comes only two months after Prime Minister Thomas Thabane called for an end to the occupation and the declaration of independence for the Saharawi before the September 74th UN General Assembly.

He pointed out that the Saharawi people have been looking for independence for years and this was a right they deserved like the rest of the world.

The prime minister said it was the duty of the UN to protect the sovereignty of its member states and prevent any interference in the affairs of other states, continuing that Lesotho’s refusal that the UN should remain indifferent to the plight of the people of the Saharawi people who were fighting for their right to freedom to no avail was on point.

Share this story


Loading Question

Related Stories