This exceptional event was held at the Basotho Cultural Village in the Eastern Free State.
Gracing the event was both the national and provincial members of the House of Traditional Leaders under the stewardship of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson, Morena Neo Mopeli, COGTA MEC, Hon. Ketso Makume, Social Development MEC, Hon. Motshidise Koloi and Sports Arts and Culture MEC, Hon. Limakatso Mahasa.
Opening the event in prayer was Rev Sekete Nchabeng with the welcoming of guest done by the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality Speaker, Cllr Pharatlhane Motloung.
Morena Neo Mopeli outlined the purpose for the establishment of the Banna Kgotla forum which is to create an enabling environment for men I traditional leadership to participate in empowered programmes that will combat GBV+F, drug and substance abuse and bogus initiation schools and to enhance and contribute to sustainable livelihood within their areas at large. Morena also indicated the forums’ legislative mandate to the traditional community at large.
Alongside Morena Neo Mopeli was Mofumahadi Clara Ramaili who also outlined the purpose for the establishment of Bommasetjhaba forum which is to create an enabling environment for women in traditional leadership and rural areas to participate in empowerment programmes that will enhance and contribute to sustainable livelihood within their areas at large.
In his keynote note address, MEC Ketso Makume opened by asking for prayers from the traditional leadership and mentioned that political leaders are elected to lead the Free State but they also need the nation’s support in a form of prayers so that they may not go astray from their word because by so doing they would be misleading the nation.
“Leading the nation is not an easy job. My beloved MEC’s this is my plea to you, this nation did not elect wheelbarrows, may we please not be pushed to do our work,” Pleaded Hon Makume.
The MEC also vowed to be a part of the Banna kgotla forum and support this initiative. He also emphasized the importance of fighting GBV, women and child abuse in our society.
“It starts with understanding that women are made from us men hence we say they a rib from our ribs. When you raise your children in a violent home, the violence rubs off on them and they think that it is the right thing to do. My beloved men let us please teach our boy children that being a boy child doesn’t mean that you have to be violent,” the MEC added.
In his speech Hon. Makume also called on parents to encourage the youth to go to school and get the education they need for the betterment of their lives. Not only did the MEC rebuke Gender Based Violence and drug abuse but he also raised awareness on the high crime rate caused by drug addiction.
“Please teach our children that drugs are bad for them and as a result most of them turn to stealing to feed their addiction and end up in jail. Chairperson, as a nation and the government we need to fight all these things. As the saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child,” added Makume.
The MEC asked that people be taught to lay criminal charges against their perpetrators and that the correctional services officials not to be part of gangs in prison because we rely on them to rehabilitate inmates so that when they come back to the community, they come back as better individuals and community members.
“In closing, may I ask that you please pray for the Free State Leadership to lead you with wisdom and truth,” ended Makume.
1Corinthians 14:40 ‘let all be done in truth and lawfully.”
After his key note address, Makume, launched and Reconstituted the forums by presenting the members with tokens of appreciation. Also present at the launch was Bishop Mdaka from the Moral Regeneration Movement, Dr Kganakga from SANAC Men’s sector, Commissioner S Moodely who is the Regional Commissioner for the Free State and Northern Cape Department of Correctional Services and Kgosi T Seatlholo who is the Chairperson for the National House of Traditional and Khoi-san Leaders.