Prime minister apologises for Basotho crimes in SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa has received an apology from the government in neighbouring Lesotho for the crimes allegedly committed by Basotho in South Africa.

Lesotho government spokesperson and Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Sam Rapapa has confirmed that Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro wrote to Ramaphosa this week to apologise and ask for forgiveness for “this unacceptable behaviour”.

In the letter, Majoro said his government will foot the bill for the prosecution of those implicated, according to Rapapa, who said the arrest of some Lesotho citizens is an embarrassment.

“We are deeply concerned about the latest reports of escalating criminal activities committed by Basotho in South Africa, where people were killed,” said Rapapa.

“It has been brought to our attention that the zama zamas [illegal miners] also have a tendency of invading retail shops and robbing them. We will not take this lying down and the prime minister has promised to do everything in his power to address this behaviour,” said Rapapa.

The apology comes after a widely publicised attack on a group of women by men believed to be illegal miners from Lesotho. The women were accosted and gang-raped while shooting a music video at an abandoned mine dump in West Village, Krugersdorp last week.

Rapapa added that the criminals have no place in Lesotho, just like they don’t in South Africa, and appealed that they desist from their criminal acts.

“The Lesotho government has beefed up security at all borders with SA to deal with people who are not documented and illegally crossing into the country [SA]. Those who are found guilty of criminality in SA should be punished immensely.”

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