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Sahara : Lesotho’s former Foreign Minister accused of receiving bribes from Morocco

Lesotho’s former Foreign Minister Lesego Makgothi. / DR
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Police in Lesotho are investigating claims that former Foreign Minister Lesego Makgothi was «bribed by the Moroccan government to abandon Lesotho’s long-held support for Western Sahara’s right to independence».

According to Lesotho Times, sources from the government said this week that Makgothi was «suspected of receiving bribes to unilaterally change Lesotho’s position to that of ‘constructive neutrality on the issue of Western Sahara».

The newspaper recalls that last October Makgothi announced that his country «no longer supported Western Sahara», which stirred controversy and led to protests from local civic organizations. The government ended up issuing a statement reaffirming «Western Sahara’s right to independence that same month», the same source added.

Despite this statement, Makgothi flew to Morocco in December and announced once again that Lesetho has «resolved to be neutral on the issue».

Lesotho Times mentions another name that is allegedly involved in the same case. «Then Deputy Home Affairs Minister and Basothi National Party deputy leade, Machesetsa Mofomobe, alleged that Makgothi was part of a cabal of loyaliss of the then First lady Maesaiah Thabane who were bribed to ensure that Lesotho abandoned its support for Western Sahara’s independence», it explained.

Earlier this year, Lesego Makgothi had refuted the allegations, but this week he reportedly declined to comment on the investigation.

In October 2019, Morocco announced that Lesotho had suspended its recognition of «SADR». Days later, the country made a U-turn, denouncing the statement.

In December of the same year, while Ledego Makghoti was in Morocco, he endorsed the first decision. In June and after appointing a new government, Lesotho reestablished ties with «SADR».

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