Recognise minority peoples languages

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By Mamello Mosaefane

Law Society of Lesotho has in its national reforms’ proposal called for minority ethnic groups languages in the country to be constitutionally recognized and made official.

Law Society’s President Advocate Tekane Maqakachane said the inclusion of the minority groups in the country constitution, especially the ba-Phuthi people and others will go a long way towards protecting their rights.

In his proposal, Maqakachane said these groups’ languages should be constitutionally recognized and included as one of the official languages in Lesotho, as well as making one of the mediums of instruction in the educational institutions.

Law Society’s proposal emanates from English and Sesotho being the only languages that are currently recognized by the constitution of Lesotho, excluding all the other minorities that exist in the country.

Section 3(1) of the constitution of Lesotho provides that the official languages of Lesotho shall be Sesotho and English; accordingly, no instrument or transaction shall be invalid by reason only that it is expressed or conducted in one of these languages.

Maqakachane said also said this minority groups must have their indigenous leaders recognized by the country’s political system and be granted the position of principal chiefs and be members of the Senate.

He said the Law Society notes that the constitution of Lesotho recognizes 22 principal chiefs, therefore seek for the descendants of the chief of ba-Phuthi, Chief Moorosi Moorosi, to be constitutionally recognized as a principal chief and other groups like the Xhosa to be also represented in the Senate.

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