By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana talked up love, peace, stability, and goodwill when he addressed the crowd at the Basotho Cultural Village in celebration of the Basotho new year.
In his speech, Dukwana urged the Free State leadership – both traditional and political – to start leading with love and peace to foster a culture of stability and goodwill in the Free state province which is riddled with many social and economic problems.
“It is time for Basotho to reestablish who they are as a people and start to embrace and love their culture. Basotho are among the largest ethnic groups in the Free State; they need to remember what Morena Moshoeshoe’s vision was when he planted a seed of peace and love among his people. He was an open-minded leader who had a deep love for his people. It’s time that the leadership of today does the same.”
The correctional services department partnered with the Free State house of traditional and Khoi-San leaders and the department of sport, arts culture, and recreation to work with communities to assist the royal houses with the upkeep of the villages. This programme saw parolees fix potholes in roads as a way of giving back to the community.
As a token of appreciation to the royal houses, the regional commissioner of the Free State and Northern Cape department of correctional services Subashini Moodley handed over agricultural produce from the department of correctional services.
“As a department we are moving towards a self-sufficient and self-sustainable practice where we produce our own vegetables, eggs, bread and several other farm produce. As part of our engagement with the community we hand over the produce that we have brought here to give to the royal houses,” Moodley said.
The principal chiefs of the Bakoena and Batlokwa, Moremoholo Mopeli and Montoeli Mota respectively were there to receive the agricultural produce that was given to their royal houses as a token of appreciation for the community engagement between them and the department of correctional services.
The MEC for sport, arts, culture, and recreation Limakatso Mahasa implored Basotho to start treating each other with love and respect.
She emphasized that women are not objects of abuse and discrimination, and should be nurtured and loved by their male counterparts so that they can build a Basotho nation that is filled with self-love and self-respect.
The executive mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP) Gilbert Mokotso was among the dignitaries who attended this auspicious event and as the political leader of MAP he welcomed everyone who was there to celebrate the Basotho New year.