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Investigate Lesotho shootings - Ramaphosa

02 October 2014, 09:37

Johannesburg - Deputy President and SADC facilitator Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday called for an investigation into the shootings in Maseru, Lesotho, his office said.

"The facilitator has directed that the SADC mission in Lesotho investigate incidents of shooting last night in Maseru," his spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

"Deputy President Ramaphosa continued with his facilitation today (Wednesday) to assist the people in the country."

He could not immediately provide more details on the shooting.

Mamoepa said Ramaphosa met members of the electoral commission and would meet Prime Minister Tom Thabane.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that two policemen were wounded on Tuesday night in a shoot-out between police and the military.

Lesotho Mounted Police Service spokesperson Lebona Mohloboli told the French news agency that two police officers were shot and injured in a gunfire exchange on the outskirts of Maseru.

It was outside two neighbouring houses of a senior government official and a military officer reportedly wanted in connection with the attempted coup, AFP reported.

"We're still trying to figure out exactly what happened," Tumisang Mosotho, a senior adviser to Thabane, was quoted as saying.

AFP reported that about two streets away from the scene of the shooting, one of its correspondents saw two automatic weapons on the ground next to a civilian vehicle that had its windows shattered.

Lesotho military and police combed the crime scene on Wednesday, while police observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) took photos and recreated the scene.

Earlier, Mamoepa said Ramaphosa would continue his visit in Lesotho.

"The deputy president arrived in Lesotho yesterday (Tuesday) where he met with the prime minister and coalition partners, the Independent Electoral Commission, and paid a courtesy call on His Majesty King Letsie III," he said.

Also read: Lesotho crisis eases

Ramaphosa was expected to meet coalition partners, main political opposition parties, and pay another courtesy call on Letsie III, on Wednesday.

He was in the country as part of his SADC mandate to facilitate talks to find a lasting solution regarding three main political issues, Mamoepa said.

These were bringing forward elections, re-opening parliament, and stabilising the security situation.

The country has been in turmoil since an attempted coup on 30 August. Thabane fled to South Africa and Lesotho police officer Mokheseng Ramahloko was killed during the attempted overthrow.



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