Legislators in Lesotho are debating on Wednesday whether this country should try to take back large parts of land from South Africa. This includes the entire Free State, as well as four other regions that in the past belonged to the Basotho.
Today’s debate follows after an MP from an opposition party in Lesotho submitted a motion in December requesting that parliament declare large tracts of land that currently belong to South Africa as part of the Kingdom of Lesotho. This includes the entire Free State, which borders Lesotho, as well as parts of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
This must be done in accordance with United Nations resolution 1817(XVII) taken on 18 December 1962. The resolution recognized the right to self-determination and independence for the people of the then Basutoland.
“I hope the land will be returned to our country after the debate as it should have been done a long time ago,” Tsepo Lipholo of the Basotho Convenient Movement (BCM) told AFP on Wednesday before the debate.
Lipholo is the only BCM legislator in Lesotho’s 120-seat National Assembly.
This opposition party’s election campaign in the run-up to Lesotho’s national election last year focused particularly on the possible reclaiming of the Basotho’s land in South Africa. The land is also a popular topic among members of the opposition.
Should the parliament of Lesotho accept the motion, it will only be the beginning of a long process to turn the land claim into law.
Read more about the 1962 resolution here.
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