Basotho Lead-Petitioners shelve crusade



MASERU – Basotho Lead-Petitioners this week deferred all their forthcoming regional trips and meetings due to the present grip of the COVID-19 outbreak that has overwhelmed the globe, killing 7 478 across the world while 187 787 infections have been recorded since the first case was identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019.

Basotho Lead-Petitioners is an all-encompassing assembly of ordinary Basotho and chiefs demanding the return of the Basotho land ceded to the Republic of South Africa during the British colonial era 1845 Bloemfontein Convention; they have to date engaged with similar groupings in both South Africa and other regional neighbours, including the Border Determination Special Committee of the Kingdom of eSwatini, Agri Forum in South Africa as well as representatives of Barotseland which was in 1969 forcefully occupied by the Zambian government that effected its illegal annexation and military occupation.

In a statement released in Maseru on Monday, the group has further cancelled “all Sunday meetings held at the Basotho Lead-Petitioners headquarters in Hlotse, Leribe, including all public gatherings until further notice as a precautionary measure to eliminate the spread of the virus.” The group also “urged all members and Basotho countrywide, all our brothers and sisters in their respective countries to adhere to the prevention measures recommended by the World Health Organsiation and other concerned stakeholders.

Please report immediately to the nearest health centre if there are signs and symptoms of COVID-19.” Meanwhile, the group on March 12 held an open air gathering at Thota-ea-moli where among invited important guests was the acting Prime Minister of Barotseland accompanied by his two special envoys and the People’s Forum delegation from South Africa.

The Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, Chief Khoabane Theko, speaking as a special guest at the gathering urged the activists to negotiate and arm-twist South Africa about their land and to work selflessly towards this end. He said, “It is our land and we must negotiate with South Africa, our biggest issue is for us to produce our own food and livestock.”

“We shall talk to those people and demand our land. When King Letsie III recently visited Matatiele he told the South Africans the land belonged to the Basotho…and the King doesn’t joke,” Chief Theko said.

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