Petitioners in 3rd bid to free soldiers detained in SA



Maseru – After two failed attempts to get the South African Government to release the two Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) soldiers detained in Matatiele, South Africa, since 19th July 2020, Basotho Lead Petitioners along with The People’s Forum and the victims’ families have again written to the South African Human Right Commission (SAHRC) for intervention. 

The letter of demand was submitted to the SAHRC early this week by The People’s Forum of South Africa on behalf all stakeholders.

According to the letter the Basotho Lead Petitioners has approached the SAHRC for immediate intervention over concerns that the two soldiers, detained for months without trial, have been subjected to torture, beatings, humiliation and insults.

“The eight months’ detention of soldiers without trial is punitive and unwarranted. We hope that presumption of innocence is admissible until these soldiers are proven guilty,” the letter read.

The Basotho Lead Petitioners pleaded with SAHRC to advise the Government of South Africa that their refusal to grant bail for the trial of the Lesotho detainees undermines the significance and intention of the joint bilateral commission of cooperation that has been under discussion.  

Basotho Lead Petitioners recommends that the SAHRC intervenes in the maintenance of peaceful relations between Lesotho and South Africa by putting an end to this stalemate.

Speaking to Public Online today, Basotho Lead Petitioners’ co-ordinator, Mpho Serobanyane, said there has not been any communication from the South African Government with regard to their previous attempts to have the two detainees released.

“We have approached SAHRC because of the inhuman treatment that our fellow compatriots have been subjected to in the hands our neighbours. We hope for a response within 14 days on this matter and the immediate release of the detainees,” he said.

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