SA slams violence in Lesotho

Violence should not be used to destabilise Lesotho, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said yesterday.

Violence should not be used to destabilise Lesotho, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said yesterday.

Pahad said South Africa wanted its neighbour's situation to return to normal.

An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Lesotho's capital, Maseru, following a series of night attacks by gunmen targeting senior political figures and their bodyguards.

In what some believe are politically motivated actions, six ministerial bodyguards were attacked and disarmed by unknown gunmen in the past few weeks. Opposition leader Tom Thabane's home was attacked, as were the homes of some other Lesotho cabinet members.

Tensions in the small mountain kingdom have increased since disputed elections in February.

The allocation of parliamentary seats on the basis of a proportional vote system had led to complaints from parties in Lesotho.

Pahad said Lesotho's courts should address these complaints. He called for "decisive action" from the Southern African Development Community. - Sapa

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