A ceremony to commemorate freedom fighters who died during the 1982 and 1985 raids by the South African Defence Force (SANDF) [sic] on Maseru started here [Maseru] on Friday.
Four cows and a bull were slaughtered as part as the ritual of cleansing and healing.
Bile, some parts of the intestines of the animals and a portion of their blood will be mixed with traditional herbs and medicines. After secret rituals have been performed by traditional healers, the mixture and a symbolic stone from Lesotho will be taken to Freedom Park in Pretoria.
The 1982 raid left 40 people dead. They were killed during a cross-border raid described by the then SADF Chief, General Constand Viljoen, as a pre-emptive strike aimed at 12 African National Congress targets in Upper Thamae on the outskirts of Maseru on December 9 1982. Another raid in 1985 left nine people dead.
'This is an important event in the lives of the of the two countries'
The cleansing and healing ceremony [sic] were organised jointly by the governments of Lesotho and South Africa and the Freedom Park Trust of South Africa.
Said the South African High Commissioner to Lesotho, William Lesley: "This is an important event in the lives of the of the two countries.
"For years we have been wanting to take to the world South Africa's gratitude for 10 years of democracy and freedom we are enjoying now."
The ceremony, attended by over 100 hundred 'lingaka' or traditional healers from Lesotho and South Africa, started with traditional prayers to God and ancestors to release the souls of the freedom fighters so that they could be taken to their final resting place.
As some of the traditional healers recited the prayers, others softly sang traditional religious songs accompanied by the beating of drums.
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