The District Municipality is named after Edwin Thabo Mofutsanyana. He was born in 1899 in Witzieshoek (now known as QwaQwa), a tiny reserve squeezed into a valley on the south-eastern border of the Free State with Lesotho. His early education was disrupted as he had to go to work to earn money to continue his schooling. By 1919 he had saved up enough money to resume his education at Bensonvale Training Institution, a Wesleyan Methodist school in the Herschel district of the Cape Province, which borders Lesotho. He took a teachers’ training course for the next four years.He returned to the Johannesburg area and found employment as a clerk at New Modderfontein mine in Benoni. By this time, Mofutsanyana had developed a political consciousness. Inspired by the African National Congress’s (ANC) heightened activism after World War I, he joined the ANC after leaving Bensonvale.
He joined the Communist Party in 1927 and served as general secretary of the Communist Party of South Africa, and was editor of the Party newspaper, Inkululeko, during the 1940s. From the mid-1930s till the end of the 1950s, he was central to all debates and campaigns. He held office in the ANC, and so helped form the alliance between the ANC and the Party. He saw the growth of the alliance between the ANC and the Indian Congress, which represented the beginning of real unity among the oppressed people of South Africa. He was on the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of South Africa when it was banned and dissolved in 1950, and was one of the foremost among those who worked to build the South African Communist Party underground. He went into exile in Lesotho in 1959. In 1992, he returned to Witzieshoek, where he was born, and, in 1995, he died there.