After a long struggle for power with former Regent Mantsebo, 22-year-old Prince Constantine Bereng Seeiso was installed as Paramount Chief of Basutoland at Maseru, Mar 12.
After a long struggle for power with former Regent Mantsebo, 22-year-old Prince Constantine Bereng Seeiso was installed as Paramount Chief of Basutoland at Maseru, Mar 12. From all over the small High Commission Territory - situated within the Union of South Africa - Basuto tribesmen arrived on horseback for the ceremony.
Shouting to be heard above the noise of the 70,000-strong crowd, British High Commissioner Sir John Maud was forced to cut his address short. The new Paramount Chief told his people that he hoped the example of his predecessors would help him to climb the ladder to true leadership of the nation.
Mother of the new ruler, Chieftainess Mabereng, watched the ceremony with representatives of the Swazi and Bechuana chiefs. For the past 20 years the country has been ruled by a Regent, Chieftainess Mantsebo. Although she was expected to attend the installation she stayed away.
Later the Paramount Chief and the High Commissioner opened Basutoland's new National Council which has legislative powers over all affairs other than Defence and Internal Security. This is the first step towards self-government in Basutoland.
In an address to the Council, Chief Bereng thanked the British Government for the confidence it had shown in the Basuto people by granting the new constitution.
Before he laid his claim to the throne of Basutoland, Chief Bereng was a student at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.