The Bataung are a separate entity on their own who migrated from Lefurutshe which was an area around the borders of Botswana and the present day North West Province the mid 1700's to the Free State Province as is known today.. They finally settled in the ~eafer North of the Free State and had fixe~ abode around the areas from Hejlbron to Bothaville, Kroonstad, ventersburg, Koppies, Edenville, ViUoenskroon,Steynsrus, which area was traditionally regarded and known by the Bataung and the Basotho as allies as, Matloangtloang.

They further moved on to areas around Senekal, Marquard, Excelsior, Olocolan and as far as Winburg, which areas came to b~ known as a s~ngle.terntory, endorsed by Moshoeshoe 1, as Mekwatleng.

As earlier mentioned, the King of Bataung, Makhothi who became popularly known as Moletsane lived and ruled Bataung in. close h~~rrn6ny with Moshdes hoe and the Basotho. There was a strong alliance between the two Kings and sound relations Detaits of the .relatiionship between 1\Aoshoestioe and Moletsane. can be found in various books written by Ellengerger, Orpen and others,~with more in records of Basothol?.fl d.

Although eventually Moletsane had to follow Moshoeshoe and established himself at the present day Taung in Lesotho, like the Basotho, many Bataung loyal to Moletsane remained in the then Orange Free State. They are still found in great numbers in the rest of the Free State. Yearning for unification and continued Traditional and cultural bond, they engaged in a struggle for recognition from the various past governments over decades and were refused because of fear that they would reclaim their land back.

Instead they were referred to be part of the homelands system and subject themselves to homeland policies which they refused to do. Following tradition they handed submission upon submission to the then apartheid Government but they were not heeded for the same reason that they were being forced to subject themselves under the homeland government and have their representation there.

Mention must be made that even in the old Bophuthatswana homeland the

Bataung who are kith and +(in ~ those in the Free State. indeed refused to be part

of the Bophuthatswana homeland. The Bataung at Mabolela in the North West

Province resisted to be incorporated into the Bophuthatswana homeland.

This same struggle continued in the Free State with the Bataung resisting to be part of separate development, impositions and subjection by the laws of apartheid. They never relented and they continued to consult each other from from a~l relevant urban areas in the Free State, including country sides on farms where the Bataung faced problems ranging from work related to traditional issues. Attached are copies of their peaceful effort of their engagement with governments including copies of authorisation letters from the Kings in Lesotho and recent submissions to the FreeState Provincial Government.

Serious regard must be considered that Qwaqwa is just but a small piece of mountainous area parched on the borders of Natal and the present day Lesotho, and this Qwaqwa Homeland was where chieftainship was forced on the people by the separate development engineers, the Apartheid Government.

From the years 1897, the jurisdiction allowed and demarcated for both Chiefs Mopeli. and Mota as subjects of the then Orange Free State Republic under President Jan Brand, remained in place for decades in dispute by the two mentioned Chiefs as they shared this farm called Witsieshoek. They were not allowed jurisdiction of the province as it stands and the rest in majority of the Basotho were not subjected to that arrangement of being under Chiefs. The same with the Barolong of Moroka as he was only to have jurisdiction of Thaba Nchu and not to have anything to do with the rest of the Province.

We wish to highlight this points in order to show that, however correct that our Government should have enacted the House of Traditional leaders in the Free State Province, and opening the whole Province for Chiefs to participate, not even an inch was covered to consult with other stakeholders as claimants in the whole Province, more so the Basotho as a whole in the Free State regarding this whole noble idea.

Things have just being taken for granted that things will be normal just collating biased and fictitious existing chieftainship structures from the apartheid era and extending imposingly the jurisdiction of these Chiefs to cover the whole Province and over the whole Basotho people, disregarding the rights in diversity of other deprived entities who yearn for their cultures and traditions to be upheld, having lived in the Free State even before this area was to be known as the then Basotholand.

We humbly urge that serious review must be speedily considered and reparation be done justifiably if the Free State House of Traditional Leaders is to be seen as representative of all the people of the Free State province and playing its proper role of fostering peace and stability as custodian of traditions and culture.

With the incoming of the new dispensation of a democratic Government in 1994, several interactions have been held with successive Premiers in the Free State Province and submissions given, from the days of Premier Terror Lekota, Ivy Ma tsepe-Cassaburi to the now Winky Direko in vain as they are very silent and however all having agreed that they know and recognise the Bataung verbally, and all having said they do not conceive why Government should not acknowledge the Bataung as representatives in the House of Traditional Leaders, nothing tangible and on paper is forthcoming regarding those verbal agreements to this day.

As the saying Goes "Morena ke Morena ka Setjhaba", the Bataung in the Free State, consulted with traditional Royalty both Moshoeshoe Ill and Moletsane II in Lesotho. On the 6~ January 1997, the Bataung King and the Council in Lesotho confirmed Moletsane Simon Moletsane as the one to be bestowed as Principal Chief of the Bataung in the Free State. The Bataung in unison willed, rallied and amassed in great numbers, arranged and inaugurate~d the ir Traditi6~al te~der Mr. Moletsane Simon Moletsane according to Tradition and Culture. They followed their tradition of "a Chief by grace and the will of the people".

This inauguration took place in the Town named Lady Brand on the 7th of March 1999. Representatives from Royal Houses of both Moshoeshoe and the Bataung in Lesotho, including the Free State Government were in attendarice as invited VIP's, indeed with great pride and enthusiasm celebration went extremely well. A report was then submitted to the Premier, Mme Winkie Direko and her Cabinet for acceptance and recognition that the Bataung people had spoken and that the Free State Government must consider amending Act No.6 to include the recognition of the Bataung in the Free State but still no response forthcoming from the Government.

The Bataung Council humbly request for your intervention in this regard as attached is all the correspondence on their long years of struggle and negotiations for their inclusion and recognition as strong contest~nts and role players in traditional and cultural affairs in the Fre& State Province. -

The Bataung Traditional Leader and Council are ready to interact directly with the Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs to set records straight and present their truthful struggle as case for the hon. Minister.

We have our last hope for resolving the matter finally through your kind and just consideration and speedy reaction.