Media Statements

South Africans are Taking a Lead in Documenting their History and Heritage

The launch of the Bakoena Ba Mopeli Customary Law of Succession and Genealogy book held at the Basotho Cultural Village (Golden Gate Park), Qwaqwa, on 25 September 2017 will, for years to come be remembered as a milestone for Traditional Leadership in South Africa.

This momentous occasion which was graced by the presence of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Minister Hounarable Des van Rooyen and His Majesty, King Letsie III, from the Kingdom of Lesotho came at an appropriate time when South Africans are celebrating their diverse heritage and cultures.

As if attesting to the indigenous belief about African royalty and their ability to bring rain, the Golden Gate National Park and surrounds experienced a heavy downpour as the towering figure of His Majesty, King Letsie III arrived at the venue – Basotho Cultural Village.

Speaking at the official handover ceremony of the book to the Bakoena Ba Mopeli royal family, Minister van Rooyen said compilation and publishing of the book was a major stride towards preserving the culture, customs, heritage and indigenous knowledge of the Bakoena Ba Mopeli community.

Highly respected by the Basotho nation, even in the Free State Province, known as “Rra Basotho”, His Majesty, King Letsie III congratulated the Bakoena Ba Mopeli for putting together an important roadmap that will guide future generations and educate the world about the rich history of this nation. “It is important for every nation to know where it comes from and where it is going, and this book definitely provides such a guidance”, he said.

The occasion also came at a significant moment when South Africans across the nation are celebrating Heritage Month, one of the many vehicles the South African Government uses to encourage social cohesion and celebration of the rich cultural diversity that forms an essential part of our country’s identity.

This year, Heritage Month is celebrated under the theme – “The Year of OR Tambo: Celebrating Our Liberation Heritage.” The theme, which reflects our desire to preserve our history and impart it to younger generations ties well with this important launch of the book on Customary Law of Succession and Genealogy of the Bakoena Ba Mopeli which will surely benefit and guide generations to come.

“As a nation we’re at a significant point where we are recording our own history and heritage. Future generations will now be able to benefit from knowledge told from their people’s perspective hence this book is the product of the Bakoena themselves”, Minister van Rooyen said.

As part of the launch, a time capsule containing the final copy of the book, messages from Government and the Bakoena Ba Mopeli Kingship, extensive research background and notes that were used in the process of compiling the book was sealed and handed over to the representatives of provincial museum of Bloemfontein to keep safe for next 5 years.

Handing over the capsule to the representatives of the Museum, her Royal Highness Queen Mother Mathokoana Mopeli said, “the capsule symbolizes the future as it carries the history and hopes of the Bakoena Ba Mopeli for our future generations”.




Legadima Leso

CoGTA Communications

Cell: 083 378 9495