Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Thembeni Nxangisa has hailed the historical ties between neighbouring Lesotho and the Free State province, including sharing a border and the history of resistance against apartheid and white domination.
Nxangisa made these remarks last week as the Mountain Kingdom celebrated the birthday of His Majesty King Letsie III on July 17.
Going down memory lane, the MEC recounted that many leaders of the then banned ANC, including former SACP secretary general Chris Hani and now ANC secretary general Ace Magashule were once welcomed by the Basotho people to live among them as they were being pursued by apartheid securocrats.
“The monarch of the mountain Kingdom is celebrating his birthday today, and as Cogta in the Free State we would like to celebrate with Lesotho and the Basotho in general,” said Nxangisa.
“A lot of people from Lesotho attend school in the Free State and work here, hence in the name of good co-operative governance, a stable and cordial working relationship with Lesotho is a sacrosanct need.”
He added Cogta wished to use the occasion of His Majesty’s birthday to wish him well and pray to God to give him more ‘beautiful years to come’.
The King’s birthday is a public holiday in Lesotho and is observed on July 17 each year. King Letsie III was born on July 17, 1963 at Morija, about 40 km outside of the capital Maseru.
King Letsie III has a keen love for agriculture and spends most of his leisure time visiting his family cattle posts. He also enjoys horse riding, squash, tennis and rugby.
Meanwhile, MEC Nxangisa is billed to table his department’s mid-year budget speech vote next week Thursday virtually because of the national lockdown regulations.
The budget speech vote will be broadcast live on the Free State government official Facebook page as well as all community radio stations in the province.
The SABC is also billed to cover the event which is themed ‘Building the Free State Together during the period of Covid-19’.