Sotho demand their land back, confront British Monarchy

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A SOTHO community have called on the Queen of England and demanded she give them back their land.

The group from Lesotho, a landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa, call themselves the ‘Basotho Petitioners’ and have even started a petition to assist with their quest in getting back “what’s rightfully theirs”, News 24 reports.

The petition was handed to the British Embassy in South Africa’s Pretoria region last Tuesday, according to the collective’s co-ordinator Mpho Serobanyane.

Though a response is yet to be received.

Serobanyane said: “The petition is all about the readjustment request for Lesotho boundaries.

“That is all we are requesting for her majesty Queen Elizabeth to do for the Basotho.”

Serobanyane said they submitted the petition because the Queen had authorised the land distribution in 1854 during the Orange River convention.

The convention is also known as the Bloemfontein convention, which saw the monarch officially gain independence of ‘the Boers’ in the area between the Orange and Vaal rivers, which resulted in the formation of the independent Boer Republic of the Orange Free State.

Serobanyane added: “What we know is that the petition will be handed over to their high commissioner, who will take it to Queen Elizabeth.”

He warned if they do not get a response, they will take their case straight to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

The group have also made a special request – to put together a proper presentation of their case to the Queen.

Serobanyane said: “If she finds that our petition is not applicable, we therefore have everything documented that will guide and give light as to what our intentions are, and how we are going to deal with the readjustments of the boundaries.”

The group say land that historically belonged to them was in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape and reiterated that only the Queen had the power to undo colonial borders.

Serobanyane also said the group had racked up a huge amount of support from Basotho residents.

A spokesman from the British Embassy in Pretoria said: “As a department, we have not received any correspondence from the Basotho petitioners and, as such, we are not in a position to make any reaction.

“We will attend to their claims only after we have received formal correspondence from them.”