Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – Lesotho Defence Force Legal section (LDF) and their counterparts the South African National Defence Force Legal Services Division (SANDF) will next week meet to forge relations and harmonising military legal systems of South Africa and Lesotho as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) states.
“The aim of the visit is to create cooperation between the two countries at a strategic level and for LDF to benchmark, share ideas and exchange expertise with the SANDF Legal Services Division. Both countries would like to move towards having SANDF Legal Practitioners appear before LDF military courts and vice versa,” reads a statement released by the South African National Defence.
“The LDF delegation will also visit the military courts where they will observe a trial in progress and the various Directorates in Defence Legal Services Division of South Africa where they will be given presentation of the military legal systems in South Africa.”
Lesotho is a landlocked country bounded by three South African provinces – Eastern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
The Lesotho Defence Force has a history of interfering in political affairs and in the mid-1990s the Ministry of Defence was created to transform the Lesotho Defence Force into an apolitical, accountable, capable and affordable defence force. The Ministry of Defence includes the Lesotho Defence Force, Administration and National Security Service.
Following South Africa and Botswana’s military intervention in Lesotho in 1998 to resolve a political crisis following weeks of rioting, the Lesotho Defence Force was downsized and retrained, with technical assistance from South Africa and India – the Indian Army has trained the Lesotho Defence Force since 2001.
The LDF is now considered to be a professional service that is less inclined to interfere in politics.
© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Mkhululi Chimoio – African Daily Voice (ADV)