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Old Parliament building, Maseru

Old Parliament building, Maseru

The old parliament building was constructed in 1909 for the Basutoland National Council (BNC), a forerunner of Lesotho’s contemporary Parliament.

This hexagonal shaped building housed the 100 member BNC which had been established in 1903 as a replacement to the national pitso [1].

One of the major achivements of the BNC in this building was the codification and passing of Sotho customary law which became known as the ‘Laws of Lerotholi’ in reference to the then Paramount Chief, Lerotholi.

The BNC was to evolve from being largely a Chiefs only platform, to include vibrant commoners such as Josiel Lefela, the founder of Lekgotla la Bafo (LLB). [2]

In 1965, this building (after extensions effected in 1959) became the meeting place for Lesotho’s first democratically elected parliament.

The 1959 old Parliament building extension as seen in 2019

[1] A public gathering of all interested men of age in the Kingdom [2] Translated it means League of Commoners, it was founded in 1919 and in Lesotho is seen as the foundation for organised participation of commoners in national politics.

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