FS Provincial House of Traditional Leaders

Chairperson: Morena, Advocate Mathealira Mopeli

Morena Mathealira Mopeli is the grandson of Morena Ntsane Mopeli 1, who is the son of Morena Mopeli Mokhachane. He was born on 5 September 1955 at Namahali Village in QwaQwa. He attended primary school at Namahali Primary School and completed standard six at QwaQwa Primary School in 1968. He enrolled at Tiisetsang High School in 1969 and matriculated in 1974. Upon matriculation he worked at the then Qwa-Qwa Government Service in various capacities as an administrative clerk, Court Interpreter, Clerk of the Court and Public Prosecutor from 1975 up to 1985.

Advocate Mathealira Mopeli was as a member of the Qwa-Qwa Legislative assembly from 1986 up to early 1994. He became a member of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders and held the position of Deputy Chairperson in 1998 up to 2002. He also held a position of Deputy Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders from 1998 to 2002, and again in 2006-2007. He became the Chairperson of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders in May 2007. Advocate Mopeli completed the Degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2008 and was admitted as an advocate to the High Court of South Africa on 23rd day of July 2009. Advocate Mathealira Mopeli was married twice and became a widower in 2008. He has four sons with impressive careers; two are engineers, and one an attorney. His youngest son, also walking in his footsteps, is in his final year of LLB Degree at Pretoria University.


An efficient unifying House of Traditional Leaders for traditional structures


  • To develop and promote systems and processes for effective governance
  • To contribute and create cooperative relationships aimed at rural development
  • Promote indigenous knowledge systems and sustain development


This structure is at Provincial Legislature level and serves a 5 year term. The Judge President swears in all the members at the beginning of each term. Members elect amongst them the chairperson and the deputy chairperson.


The House is constituted by 15 members, 3 members from each of the 5 legally recognised traditional communities, namely:

  • Bakoena ba Mopeli (Qwa-Qwa)
  • Makholokoe (near Harrismith)
  • Batlokoa ba Mokotleng (Qwa-Qwa)
  • Batlokoa ba Mokgalong (Vrede) and
  • Barolong boo Seleka (Thaba Nchu)

Currently, of the 15 members, only the chairperson and the deputy chairperson are permanently employed by the House. They perform day to day functions of the House.


An Executive Committee oversees and monitors the general functions of the House and also perform the following duties;

  • Monitor the performance of Committees of the House by giving directives and guidelines
  • Formulate strategies for proper functioning of the House.
  • Advise and make proposals to the M.EC and the premier and interact with Premier on matters relating to traditional leadership.
  • Advise and interact with various provincial governments on matters affecting rural communities and traditional leadership.
  • To monitor effective participation of all members of the House.


The Free State House of Traditional Leaders is responsible for the following functions:

  • Advise the provincial government or the provincial legislature on developmental matters relating indigenous law or affecting traditions and customs of traditional communities.
  • Advise the provincial government and participating and participate in the development of provincial policies and legislation.
  • To participate in national and provincial development programmes.
  • To promote the role of traditional leadership within the Free State Province.
  • Participate in partnership with other stakeholders, in provincial initiatives meant to monitor, review and evaluate government programmes in traditional communities.
  • To enhance unity and understanding among Free State traditional communities.
  • To enhance co-operation between the Local Houses and the traditional councils in the Free State Province.
  • To participate in the structures of government.
  • To promote and protect cultural values, morals and indigenous practices of the communities.
  • May exercise such other powers and must perform such tasks as may be conferred by  the Premier or as may be provided for in any other relevant   provincial legislation.


In order to execute the duties and responsibilities of the House of Traditional Leaders, 6 Committees have been established;

Internal Arrangement Committee

  • Responsible for the welfare of members
  • Responsible for the capacity building of members of the House
  • Preparation of the opening and closing functions of the House
  • Oversee the operations of the Local House and Traditional Councils
  • Assist with the acquisition of funds for effective operation of traditional councils
  • Interact with the Traditional Affairs Directorate regarding support to Traditional Councils
  • Monitor and evaluate the functioning of traditional councils.

Social Development Committee

  • Responsible for the social matters of communities
  • Responsible for the safety of rural communities
  • Liaising with stakeholders regarding developmental needs of communities
  • Facilitating the establishment of projects in rural communities
  • Ensuring the involvement of Traditional Leaders in the fight against HIV/ AIDS
  • Involvement and participation of IDP and IRDSP

Tradition, Customs and Culture Committee

  • Data collection of African cultures
  • Compile and publicise traditional/cultural events and historic activities taking place with the province.
  • Revival of customs and good cultural activities in the Province.
  • Interaction with SAHRA on the identification of Heritage sites that need preservation.

Interaction with the Department of Arts, Culture and Sports in the province

  • Convening Lekgotla to address the tradition, custom, values and practices.
  • Establishing and maintaining relations with the Freedom Park Trust.
  • Involvement in the activities of the Moral Regeneration Movement.
  • Planning Provincial Heritage Day Activities.
  • Assist traditional councils in organising cultural functions/ celebrations

Constitutional Development Committee

  • Drafting of rules and orders regulating the conduct of the business and proceedings of the House and or its committees
  • Interact with the Department of Constitutional Development and any other relevant department on matters, Bills or affecting Traditional Leaders and Traditional Authorities
  • Interact with the South African Law Reform Commission on the harmonisation of Customary Law and Common Law.
  • Attend to all legislative matters at all levels that affect the institution of Traditional Leadership.

Land Use and Infrastructure Committee

  • Land administration
  • Land development
  • Oversight on the delivery of services to rural communities
  • Manage the implementation of CLARA
  • Oversight on the implementation of local government legislation
  • Oversight function on LED, ISRDP and Spatial Planning