Three exiled Lesotho opposition leaders have returned home thanks to mediation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the South African Presidency said on Sunday.
The three leaders are Tome Thabane, former Prime Minister and leader of the All-Basotho Convention; Theselle Maseribane, leader of the Basotho National Party and Keketso Rantsho, leader of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho, according to the Presidency.
Visiting South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who leads SADC mediation efforts to help resolve political conflicts in Lesotho, received and welcomed back home the three opposition leaders in Maseru, capital of Lesotho, said Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesperson for Ramaphosa.
The return of the three opposition leaders is a culmination of efforts and decision of the SADC Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Gaborone, Botswana in 2016 which mandated Ramaphosa to facilitate the return of the three leaders back home.
After attending a welcoming function held at Avani Lesotho hotel earlier on Sunday, Ramaphosa returned to South Africa, concluding his successful visit to the kingdom, Mamoepa said.
During the visit, Ramaphosa held discussions with stakeholders in the Lesotho political conflict.
The SADC remains committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure the stabilization of the political and security situation in Lesotho and has committed itself to second experts to assist the country as it embarks on constitutional and security sector reforms, Ramaphosa told a press conference before ending his visit.
During the visit, Ramaphosa reviewed progress made with regard to the implementation of SADC recommendations on constitutional and security sector reforms including the investigation into the death of the late Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao.
Mahao was killed in June 2015 after Pakalitha Mosisili became Lesotho prime minister. His death plunged the country into uncertainty.
The three opposition leaders fled to South Africa for fear of political prosecution following an early election in 2015.
The election was held after an attempted coup in August the previous year. Mosisili emerged as the winner in the elections.