Ramaphosa, Mswati Discuss Masisi-Khama Rift 

  • Ramaphosa, Mswati met in Pretoria on Monday
  • Ramaphosa is allegedly trying to intervene between Masisi, Mswati
  • “They are protecting him whilst speaking ill of BW” – Kwape 


South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly mediating a potential conflict between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and eSwatini monarch King Mswati.


According to statements released by the SA and eSwatini governments, President Ramaphosa and King Mswati met at Ramaphosa’s residence in Pretoria in an official Working visit of King Mswati on Monday.


While specific details of the meeting have not been disclosed, it is understood that King Mswati is “disappointed” after President Masisi’s recent remarks accusing eSwatini and South Africa of harbouring former president Ian Khama, who faces charges of illegal possession of firearms in Botswana.


An anonymous diplomatic source quoted by Swaziland News remarked that President Ramaphosa is attempting to mediate between the two heads of state.


“Actually, the eSwatini King does not understand why President Masisi is behaving this way because one day he (Masisi) might also need help like Khama because politics changes like the climate,” the source is quoted as saying.


It is further alleged that Ramaphosa did make mention of the issue when he met President Masisi in SA on Thursday last week.


However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Lemogang Kwape, says Botswana has not received any formal complaints from eSwatini regarding President Masisi’s comments.


Speaking in an interview with The Botswana Gazette, Kwape emphasised President Masisi’s position that it is regrettable for countries to host individuals like former president Khama who make negative remarks about Botswana while enjoying their hospitality.


“We do have people in our country that we do not allow to make negative comments about their countries,” he said.


“If they choose to do so, we allow them to leave immediately. We do not let them do such as our guests. We wish that other countries could do the same for us.”


Efforts to reach King Mswati’s spokesman, Percy Simelane, proved unsuccessful at the time of going to press.