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19 Sep 2003 15:54
The last Lesotho Queen Mother, Queen Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, was laid to rest at Roman Catholic cemetery at St Louis Mission in Matsieng, south of Maseru on Friday.
Lesotho’s Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili said that during her life, the Queen Mother saved the country’s monarchy when it was on the brink of collapse.
“Were it not for the keen role Queen Mamohato played in the administration affairs of the state, Lesotho will not be a monarchy today,” he said.
Mosisili said the Queen Mother had carried out her responsibilities in an exemplary manner during the absence of her husband, the late King Moshoeshoe II.
King Moshoeshoe II was exiled from Lesotho in 1970 by the government of the late prime minister Leabua Jonathane and in 1990 by the military regime of Major General Metsing Lekhanya.
A representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Miguel Kiasekoka, said the Queen Mother participated in many United Nations programmes which benefited the Basotho nation.
Kiasekoka was speaking on behalf of international organisations at the funeral service of the Queen Mother earlier in the day.
“Her tireless energy and exemplary devotion will continue to guide us to achieve her ideals of a better livelihood for her people,” he said.
Kiasekoka praised the Queen Mother for working tirelessly to uplift Basotho women in all walks of life, protect the rights of children, promote human rights in general and fight HIV/Aids.
She was also a source of strength and courage in the protection and promotion of Basotho culture.
“Mamohato Bereng Seeiso will remain a fountain of inspiration to all those she touched,” he said.
Thousands of Basotho mourners attended the funeral service at the Pitso stadium.
Wearing colourful traditional blankets, mourners, among them foreign delegates, rose in silence as the body of the Queen Mother was driven into the stadium.
Her body arrived at the stadium in a casket draped in the royal standard of Lesotho. The casket was transported on a Lesotho Defence Force military gun carrier.
The Queen Mother died suddenly inside the Roman Catholic church at Auray Mission at Mantsonyane in the Maluti mountains on September 6.
Her son, Principal Chief Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, said his mother died of a heart attack after complaining about a heart condition for 20 years.
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