Former Lesotho Prime Minister, Dr Leabua Jonathan, will be honoured by the Department of Arts and Culture in the Free State through the unveiling of his statue, which is expected to take place in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, on Sunday, 10 March 2019.
The historical role that Dr Jonathan played in the liberation struggle of South Africa has been well documented and in 2007 he was awarded the ‘The Order of the Supreme Companion of OR Tambo’ by the democratic government of South Africa to appreciate the role that he played in the freedom struggle of this country.
The department has added that building and unveiling such historical statues contribute towards efforts to transform our heritage landscape, helping to ensure that part of our history, which deals with the anti-apartheid liberation struggle, is preserved and celebrated.
Late last year, SowetanLive reported that Former Lesotho Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili, had written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa objecting to a decision by the province to honour the late Leabua Jonathan. “In his letter, Mosisili said Jonathan’s era was characterised by a reign of terror over innocent Basotho. The Free State government has set aside R3.5m for Jonathan’s statue which was supposed to have been unveiled in October” reads the article.
The unveiling is expected to be attended by dignitaries and citizens from both Lesotho and South Africa. It will take place at the Library Services Building in Zastron Street, Mangaung, at 10 am.
The unveiling will be followed by an international friendly soccer match between Bloemfontein Celtic Football Club and Linareng Football Club from Lesotho. Dr Jonathan had relations with both clubs directly and indirectly. This will take place later on Sunday at 2 pm, at the Dr Rantlai Molemela Stadium in Mangaung. – Seithati Semenokane