Historical Dictionary of Lesotho [new ed.] 0810848716, 9780810848719

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Historical Dictionary of Lesotho [new ed.]
 0810848716, 9780810848719

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ExLibris This book was donated by Jack O’Gorman, Reference Librarian, University of Dayton, Dayton. Ohio, and Chair of the Editorial Board of Reference Book Bulletin/Booklist, an American Library Association publication.

But when the sun first reveals his fair golden face to the earth, or when a harsh winter yields to the balmy breezes of early spring, everything suddenly takes on a new appearance, a new color, and a certain youthful freshness; so to, when you caught sight of me (Foily), yourfaces were transformed. - Erasmus, The Praise of Folly




/ I

AFRICAN HISTORICAL DICTIONARIES Edited by Jon Woronoff 1. Cameroon, by Victor T. Le Vine and Roger R Nye. 1974. Out of print. See No. 48. 2. The Congo, 2nd ed., by Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff. 1984. Out of print. See No. 69. 3. Swaziland, by John J. Grotpeter. 1975. 4. The Gambia, 2nd ed., by Harry A. Gailey. 1987. Out of print. See No. 79. 5. Botswana, by Richard P. Stevens. 1975. Out of print. See No. 70. 6. Somalia, by Margaret E Castagno. 1975. Out of print. See No. 87. 7. Benin (Dahomey), 2nd ed., by Samuel Decalo. 1987. Out of print. See No. 61. 8. Burundi, by Warren Weinstein. 1976. Out of print. See No. 73. 9. Togo, 3rd ed., by Samuel Decalo. 1996. 10. Lesotho, by Gordon Haliburton. 1977. Out of print. See No. 90. 11. Mali, 3rd ed., by Pascal James Imperato. 1996. 12. Sierra Leone, by Cyril Patrick Foray. 1977. 13. Chad, 3rd ed., by Samuel Decalo. 1997. 14. Upper Volta, by Daniel Miles McFarland. 1978. 15. Tanzania, by Laura S. Kurtz. 1978. 16. Guinea, 3rd ed., by Thomas O’Toole with Ibrahima Bah-Lalya. 1995. 17. Sudan, by John Voll. 1978. Out of print. See No. 53. 18. Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, by R. Kent Rasmussen. 1979. Out of print. See No. 46. 19. Zambia, 2nd ed., by John J. Grotpeter, Brian V. Siegel, and James R. Pletcher. 1998. 20. Niger, 3rd ed., by Samuel Decalo. 1997. 21. Equatorial Guinea, 3rd ed., by Max Liniger-Goumaz. 2000. 22. Guinea-Bissau, 3rd ed., by Richard Lobban and Peter Mendy. 1997. 23. Senegal, by Lucie G. Colvin. 1981. Out of print. See No. 65. 24. Morocco, by William Spencer. 1980. Out of print. See No. 71. 25. Malawi, by Cynthia A. Crosby. 1980. Out of print. See No. 84. 26. Angola, by Phyllis Martin. 1980. Out of print. See No. 52.

27. The Central African Republic, by Pierre Kalck. 1980. Out of print. See No. 51. 28. Algeria, by Alf Andrew Heggoy. 1981. Out of print. See No. 66. 29. Kenya, by Bethwell A. Ogot. 1981. Out of print. See No. 77. 30. Gabon, by David E. Gardinier. 1981. Out of print. See No. 58. 31. Mauritania, by Alfred G. Gerteiny. 1981. Out of print. See No. 68. 32. Ethiopia, by Chris Prouty and Eugene Rosenfeld. 1981. Out of print. See No. 56. 33. Libya, 3rd ed., by Ronald Bruce St John. 1998. 34. Mauritius, by Lindsay Riviere. 1982. Out of print. See No. 49. 35. Western Sahara, by Tony Hodges. 1982. Out of print. See No. 55. 36. Egypt, by Joan Wucher King. 1984. Out of print. See No. 67. 37. South Africa, by Christopher Saunders. 1983. Out of print. See No. 78. 38. Liberia, by D. Elwood Dunn and Svend E. Holsoe. 1985. Out of print. See No. 83. 39. Ghana, by Daniel Miles McFarland. 1985. Out of print. See No. 78. 40. Nigeria, 2nd ed., by Anthony Oyewole and John Lucas. 2000. 41. Cote d’Ivoire (The Ivory Coast), 2nd ed., by Robert J. Mundt. 1995. 42. Cape Verde, 2nd ed., by Richard Lobban and Marilyn Halter. 1988. Out of print. See No. 62. 43. Zaire, by F. Scott Bobb. 1988. Out of print. See No. 76. 44. Botswana, 2nd ed., by Fred Morton, Andrew Murray, and Jeff Ramsay. 1989. Out of print. See No. 70. 45. Tunisia, 2nd ed., by Kenneth J. Perkins. 1997. 46. Zimbabwe, 2nd ed., by Steven C. Rubert and R. Kent Rasmussen. 1990. Out of print. See No. 86. 47. Mozambique, by Mario Azevedo. 1991. Out of print. See No. 88. 48. Cameroon, 2nd ed., by Mark W. DeLancey and H. Mbella Mokeba. 1990. 49. Mauritius, 2nd ed., by Sydney Selvon. 1991. 50. Madagascar, by Maureen Coveil. 1995. 51. The Central African Republic, 2nd ed., by Pierre Kalck; translated by Thomas O’Toole. 1992. 52. Angola, 2nd ed., by Susan H. Broadhead. 1992. 53. Sudan, 2nd ed., by Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Richard A. Lobban, Jr., and John Obert Voll. 1992. Out of print. See No. 85.



54. Malawi, 2nd ed., by Cynthia A. Crosby. 1993. Out of print. See No. 84. 55. Western Sahara, 2nd ed., by Anthony Pazzanita and Tony Hodges. 1994. 56. Ethiopia and Eritrea, 2nd ed., by Chris Prouty and Eugene Rosenfeld. 1994. 57. Namibia, by John J. Grotpeter. 1994. 58. Gabon, 2nd ed., by David E. Gardinier. 1994. 59. Comoro Islands, by Martin Ottenheimer and Harriet Ottenheimer. 1994. 60. Rwanda, by Learthen Dorsey. 1994. 61. Benin, 3rd ed., by Samuel Decalo. 1995. 62. Republic of Cape Verde, 3rd ed., by Richard Lobban and Marlene Lopes. 1995. 63. Ghana, 2nd ed., by David Owusu-Ansah and Daniel Miles McFarland. 1995. 64. Uganda, by M. Louise Pirouet. 1995. 65. Senegal, 2nd ed., by Andrew F. Clark and Lucie Colvin Phillips. 1994. 66. Algeria, 2nd ed., by Phillip Chiviges Naylor and Alf Andrew Heggoy. 1994. 67. Egypt, 2nd ed., by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. 1994. Out of print. See No. 90. 68. Mauritania, 2nd ed., by Anthony G. Pazzanita. 1996. 69. Congo, 3rd ed., by Samuel Decalo, Virginia Thompson, and Richard Adloff. 1996. 70. Botswana, 3rd ed., by Jeff Ramsay, Barry Morton, and Fred Morton. 1996. 71. Morocco, 2nd ed., by Thomas K. Park. 1996. 72. Tanzania, 2nd ed., by Thomas P. Ofcansky and Rodger Yeager. 1997. 73. Burundi, 2nd ed., by Ellen K. Eggers. 1997. 74. Burkina Faso, 2nd ed., by Daniel Miles McFarland and Lawrence Rupley. 1998. 75. Eritrea, by Tom Killion. 1998. 76. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), by F. Scott Bobb. 1999. (Revised edition of Historical Dictionary of Zaire, No. 43)

77. Kenya, 2nd ed., by Robert M. Maxon and Thomas R Ofcansky.

2000. 78. South Africa, 2nd ed., by Christopher Saunders and Nicholas Southey. 2000. 79. The Gambia, 3rd ed., by Arnold Hughes and Harry A. Gailey.

2000. 80. Swaziland, 2nd ed., by Alan R. Booth. 2000. 81. Republic of Cameroon, 3rd ed., by Mark W. DeLancey and Mark Dike DeLancey. 2000. 82. Djibouti, by Daoud A. Alwan and Yohanis Mibrathu. 2000. 83. Liberia, 2nd ed., by D. Elwood Dunn, Amos J. Beyan, and Carl Patrick Burrowes. 2001. 84. Malawi, 3rd ed., by Owen J. Kalinga and Cynthia A. Crosby. 2001. 85. Sudan, 3rd ed., by Richard A. Lobban Jr., Robert S. Kramer, and Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban. 2002. 86. Zimbabwe, 3rd ed., by Steven C. Rubert and R. Kent Rasmussen.

2001. 87. Somalia, 2nd ed., by Mohamed Haji Mukhtar. 2002. 88. Mozambique, 2nd ed., by Mario Azevedo, Emmanuel Nnadozie, and Tome Mbuia Joao. 2003. 89. Egypt, 3rd ed., by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. and Robert Johnston. 2003. 90. Lesotho, new edition, by Scott Rosenberg, Richard Weisfelder, and Michelle Frisbie-Fulton. 2004.


Historical Dictionary of Lesotho New Edition Scott Rosenberg Richard F. Weisfelder Michelle Frisbie-Fulton

African Historical Dictionaries, No. 90


ffiia The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland, and Oxford


SCARECROW PRESS, INC. Published in the United States of America by Scarecrow Press, Inc. A wholly owned subsidiary of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706 www.scarecrowpress.com PO Box 317 Oxford 0X2 9RU, UK Copyright © 2004 by Scott Rosenberg, Richard F. Weisfelder, and Michelle Frisbie-Fulton All rights resen'ed. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information Available

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rosenberg, Scott, 1967— Historical dictionary of Lesotho / Scott Rosenberg, Richard F. Weisfelder, Michelle Frisbie-Fulton— new edition p. cm.— (African historical dictionaries ; no. 90) Rev. ed. of: Historical dictionary of Lesotho / by Gordon Haliburton. 1977. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-8108-4871-6 (alk. paper) 1. Lesotho—History—Dictionaries. I. Weisfelder, Richard Frederick. II. Frisbie-Fulton, Michelle, 1953—. III. Haliburton, Gordon Mac Kay. Historical dictionary of Lesotho. IV. Title. V. Series. DT2554 .R67 2004 968.85'003—dc21 2003013063 © ™ The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992. Manufactured in the United States of America.



Editor’s Foreword

Jon Woronojf


ix xi

Readers’ Notes


Acronyms and Abbreviations










Appendix: Genealogy of the Kings of Lesotho




About the Authors





Editor's Foreword

In some ways, Lesotho is very different from the rest of Africa. It’s a kingdom, it tenuously preserves a traditional hierarchy and customs, and its population consists largely of one fairly homogeneous ethnic group. But it’s not less African for that; if anything, it’s more African than the often artificial states put together by the colonial powers that have since drifted between democracy (frequently under one-party rule) and dictatorship, combining groups that continuously ask themselves why they’re in the same state. Lesotho is a rare place that has retained much of its precolonial form and has stubbornly gone its own way, al¬ though it is entirely surrounded by another country. This Historical Dictionary of Lesotho traces a rather unique history going back to Moshoeshoe I. He created a political unit that has carried over in various forms to the present day, at which time his descendant Letsie III serves as a constitutional head of state. The country’s long, convoluted path over the past two centuries is easiest to follow in this book’s chronology, and the broader setting is briefly described in the introduction. The dictionary section, with its many entries, provides basic information on the kings and other notables, the British and South African contenders, the evolving state of the economy, society and cul¬ ture, and insight into the ways of the Basotho. Several maps show the present and earlier borders of the country, and the bibliography alerts readers to further documentation useful for rounding out a serious study of this quite vital but, alas, poorly known state. This volume was written by Scott Rosenberg, Richard Weisfelder, and Michelle Frisbie-Fulton. Rosenberg and Weisfelder have written about and lectured on Lesotho, and all three have spent significant amounts of time there. It took many years of painstaking research to amass the essential data and uncover elusive details. This book, which has been harder to complete than most others in this series, finally fills IX


an important gap. The authors can be justifiably proud of writing a per¬ ceptive and accessible Historical Dictionary of Lesotho, and its readers can benefit from this very useful source of information. Jon Woronoff Series Editor



We want to acknowledge those who have helped with this project, in¬ cluding David Ambrose, Stephen Gill, David and Roxi Owen, Robert Edgar, the Morija Archive and Museum, Sechaba Consultants, the United Nations Office in Lesotho, and the National University of Leso¬ tho, especially its Institute for Southern African Studies and History Department. Scott Rosenberg and Richard Weisfelder owe special thanks to the Lulbright Program that provided grants for the long inter¬ ludes in Lesotho necessary to gather data. Scott Rosenberg owes his initial experience in Lesotho to the Peace Corps program. Richard Weisfelder’s opportunities to live and work in Lesotho date back to the Lord Loreign Area Lellowship Program. His research efforts have been frequently supported by the University of Toledo, especially the De¬ partment of Political Science and the College of Arts and Sciences. Both Rosenberg and Weisfelder are especially indebted to the countless Basotho who gave formal interviews or just chatted at length about the facts and issues considered in this dictionary. Any errors we have made, however, remain our exclusive responsibility. Special recognition must go to Gordon Haliburton, the author of the first edition of this dictionary. We appreciate his willingness to let us utilize information that he had gathered. Appearing in an era when Le¬ sotho was even less familiar to the outside world, his work provided a valuable introduction and source of reference material for scholars and students. We have benefited substantially from the example set by his work. On a more personal note, Scott Rosenberg would like to thank his wife, Crystal; his supportive colleagues in the History Department at Wittenberg University; and his interpreter, and assistant, Lefu Putsoane. He also appreciates the efforts of two students, Sarah Teri and Jessie Zawacki, who helped with the bibliography. Richard Weisfelder thanks XI


his wife, Christine, for tolerating the long separations while he did his research in Lesotho and his even more maddening isolation upstairs at the computer as he took forever to finish his entries. Michelle FrisbieFulton acknowledges the support of her African history professors, George Brooks, John Hanson, and Phyllis Martin, for their mentoring and inspiration at Indiana University. We offer special thanks to Jon Woronoff for sticking with this project despite the numerous delays during the eight years since its inception. Michelle Frisbie-Fulton and Richard Weisfelder are especially grateful to Scott Rosenberg for his leadership as the primary editor of the book and as our impetus to see this project through to completion. Most importantly, we dedicate this book to Sechaba, the people of Lesotho, who made us welcome in their land and whose story we have done our best to tell.

Readers' Notes

Having three authors complicates preparing a dictionary and inevitably leads to some stylistic differences. Readers, however, will be alerted to legitimate alternative ways of handling similar subject matter. When possible, we have attempted to use the names and terms regularly em¬ ployed by the Basotho rather than the British. We have been consistent in our use of three key terms:

Basotho is the plural or collective term for people of Sotho ethnicity; in modern parlance, citizens of Lesotho regardless of ethnicity.

Mosotho is an individual of Sotho ethnicity; in modem parlance, a citizen of Lesotho regardless of ethnicity.

Sesotho is the language and customs of the Sotho people or of the modem state of Lesotho. In the preceding example, the root word is “Sotho,” and the changes in the prefix alter the meaning. Suffixes in Sesotho also alter the mean¬ ing of the root, providing additional information that is conveyed by prepositional phrases in English. For example, adding “ng” to the end of a word would produce a locative, so that thaba (mountain) becomes thabang (at the mountain). We have reluctantly used the British name for the country, Basuto¬ land, to delineate events during the colonial period, and we have used the name Lesotho for periods of precolonial and postcolonial indepen¬ dence. Basotho have always called their country Lesotho. Throughout the dictionary, when referring to the Basotho chief Moshoeshoe, we have just written “Moshoeshoe” and not added the designation “I” after his name. This was done to conform to most common academic and colloquial uses of his name. The Basotho did not begin to use last names until the colonial period and many Basotho of the early colonial period are generally referred to by their first name. Thus, famous Basoxiii


tho chiefs from this time period such as Joel and Jonathan Molapo are listed under “Joel” and “Jonathan” rather than “Molapo.” Michelle Frisbie-Fulton assumed primary responsibility for prepar¬ ing entries on 19th-century history, Scott Rosenberg for the 20th cen¬ tury prior to independence, and Richard Weisfelder for pre- and postindependence political transformations. Several entries reflect joint inputs or deviate from the general pattern to reflect the specific interests and expertise of particular authors. Scott Rosenberg took responsibility for preparing the bibliography, maps, and lists of acronyms and for the last-minute assembling and editing of all of our inputs. Richard Weis¬ felder wrote the introduction. The chronology was a joint effort. There would have been four authors except that a prominent Mosotho scholar withdrew after accepting significantly increased professional responsi¬ bilities. The authors decided that longer and more comprehensive entries would better introduce readers to the depth and complexity of interac¬ tions in Lesotho. The price paid is the omission of many worthy indi¬ viduals, events, and concepts, for which we apologize. The benefit is that our entries are less likely to be superficial or to leave readers with more questions than answers. For the most part, entries from the more distant past are shorter, whereas those covering the period immediately preceding independence and Lesotho’s 37 years of independence are more extensive. Readers should be able to develop considerable insight about the economic and political crises that have beset contemporary Lesotho and that continue to shape its interactions as an enclave within South Africa.



Acronyms and Abbreviations


African Development Bank


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome African Methodist Church African National Congress


Africa 2000 Network Program Basutoland African Congress Basutoland African National Teachers’ Association British Broadcasting Corporation Basutoland Congress Party Basotho Democratic Alliance Basutoland Freedom Party Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland Basutoland Mounted Police Basotho National Party Basutoland Progressive Association Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe Christian Council of Lesotho Christian Democratic Party Canadian International Development Agency Common Monetary Area Communist Party of Lesotho Convention People’s Party European Economic Community European Union Food and Agriculture Organization Federation of Women Lawyers High Commission Territories Industrial Commercial Workers’ Union International Development Association XV



Independent Electoral Commission International Monetary Fund Interim Political Authority Lesotho Association of Non-Formal Education Lesotho African National Teachers’ Association Lesotho Congress for Democracy Lesotho Council of NGOs Lesotho Defence Force Lesotho Lesotho Lesotho Lesotho

Evangelical Church Highlands Development Authority Highlands Water Project Independent Party

Lesotho Liberation Army Lesotho Mounted Police London Mission Society Lesotho People’s Congress Lesotho Paramilitary Force Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association Lesotho Red Cross Society Lesotho Save the Children Lesotho Unity Party British Empire Medal Marema-Tlou Freedom Party Marema-Tlou Party National Constituent Assembly National Executive Committee Nongovernmental Organization National Independent Party National Progressive Party National Security Service National Teacher Training College National University of Lesotho Organization of African Unity Order of the British Empire Orange Free State Oblates of Mary Immaculate Oxford Committee for Famine Relief Pan-African Congress



Paris Evangelical Mission Society Popular Front for Democracy


Private Health Association of Fesotho Police Mobile Unit


Roman Catholic Mission Rand Monetary Area Rand Native Fabour Association South African Communist Party Southern African Customs Union Southern African Development Community Southern African Development Coordination Conference South African Defense Force South African National Defense Force South African Native National Congress Save the Children Fund (UK) Save Our Souls


University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland University of Botswana, Fesotho, and Swaziland United Democratic Party United Nations


United Nations Development Programme


United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization United Nations Children’s Fund University of South Africa


United States of America


World Food Programme Witswatersrand Native Fabour Association


World Vision International












5.000’ 7.000'


7.000' 9.000'


9.000' 11.42!' Oisfrict Towns




f t »■»3 ■■■

»h«ik!M m mil»*





xxii •


Chieftainship Ward Boundaries


Matsieng Leribe Teyaleyaneng Maqhaka Makhoakhoeng Taung Mokhotlong Likhoele Phamong Qacha's Nek Qulhing Rothe. Thaba Tseka Thaba Boslu Maama Maielile Kubake and Ha Ramabanta Kceneng and Mapoteng Tajane Tebang Butha-Buthe Tsikoane. Peka and Kolbere Tlokoeng Thaba Tsoeu Llkoeneng


c 2003 G. Thompson

There are 22 Principal Chiefs and 2 Ward Chiefs. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a ward boundary. Where there is more than one ward under the Chief, the letter is repeated.


Circa 6000 Circa 1600


Hunters-gatherers inhabit region.

First Basotho settle in Caledon Valley.

1786 Moshoeshoe, eldest son of Mokhachane’s first house, is born at Menkhoaneng. 1804 Moshoeshoe is circumcised and changes his name from Lepoqo to Letlama “the Binder.” 1806 Peete takes his grandson, Moshoeshoe, to meet the famous chief and rainmaker, Mohlomi. 1809 After successfully raiding cattle from RaMonaheng, Letlama becomes known by his self-proclaimed new name, Moshoeshoe. 1810 Moshoeshoe marries ’MaMahato, daughter of Bafokeng chief Seepheephe. 1811 bom.

Letsie (Mohato), the eldest son of Moshoeshoe’s first house, is


Mohlomi dies.

1821 Lifaqane reaches Lesotho with invasion by Mpangazitha and Matiwane. 1822 Sekonyela’s Tlokoa drive Moshoeshoe into the mountains. Moshoeshoe becomes leader of the Mokoteli lineage. 1823 Moshoeshoe defeats Sekonyela at the “Battle of the Pots,” and seeks refuge on Butha Buthe mountain. /

1824 Moshoeshoe leads his followers from Butha Buthe to Thaba Bosiu. xxiii



Nehemiah Sekhonyana is the first son of Moshoeshoe bom at

Thaba Bosiu. 1827

Moshoeshoe repels attack by the Amangwane of Matiwane.


Moorosi, chief of the Baphuti, forms an alliance with Moshoe¬

shoe, and together they conduct successful cattle raids against the Amathembu. 1829

Sekonyela attacks while Moshoeshoe is raiding the Thembu.


The AmaNdebele receive a gift of cattle from Moshoeshoe

while retreating from their failed assault on Thaba Bosiu. 1833

Three missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Mission Society

(PEMS) arrive in Lesotho. 1838

Moletsane’s Bataung settle under Moshoeshoe.


Cape Governor George Napier signs a treaty with Moshoeshoe,

creating a border known as the Napier Line, and extends policing re¬ sponsibilities to Moshoeshoe. 1845

Moshoeshoe meets with Governor Peregrine Maitland.


Governor Harry Smith annexes the territory between the Orange

and Vaal Rivers as Orange River Sovereignty. Moshoeshoe meets Gov¬ ernor Harry Smith at Winburg. 1849 Major Henry Warden establishes new boundary, known as the Warden Line, reducing Moshoeshoe’s territory. 1852 General George Cathcart’s attack is repelled in the Battle of Berea. 1853

Moshoeshoe defeats longtime rival Sekonyela.


British withdraw from Orange River Sovereignty. Orange Tree

State is established. Moshoeshoe promulgates an ordinance against spirituous liquor. 1858 Basotho fight Orange Tree State in “Senekal’s War.” First Treaty of Aliwal North in signed.




1 1859

Moshoeshoe establishes Laws of Trade.


Moshoeshoe requests British protection against the Boers.


Roman Catholic missionaries arrive.


PEMS newspaper, Leselinyana la Lesotho, is founded.

1865 Basotho engage in “Seqiti War” with Orange Free State. Louw Wepener is killed at Thaba Bosiu. 1866 Molapo makes separate peace with Orange Free State. Mos¬ hoeshoe signs the Treaty of Thaba Bosiu. 1867 Paulus Mopeli becomes vassal of Orange Free State and settles in Oetsi’s Hoek. War breaks out between Moshoeshoe and the Orange Free State. Moshoeshoe requests British protection. Diamonds are dis¬ covered at Kimberley. 1868 Cape Governor Philip Wodehouse extends British protection by annexing Lesotho. 1869

Philip Wodehouse and Free State President Jan Brand resolve

boundary dispute and return some land to Lesotho. Maseru is estab¬ lished as the administrative capital by Commandant J. H. Bowker. 1870

Letsie is named by Moshoeshoe as his successor. Moshoeshoe

dies. 1871

Cape Colony assumes direct control over Lesotho.


Basutoland Mounted Police are created.

1873 Molapo and Jonathan hand Chief Langalibalele over to the colo¬ nial administration. Last of the independent Baroa communities in the Maloti Mountains is subjugated. Lesotho exports 100,000 muids of grain. 1875

First Anglican priest is stationed in Lesotho.


Moorosi rebels and is killed by joint Cape and Basotho force.

Cape Prime Minister Gordon Sprigg announces disarmament policy. 1880

Letsie’s petition to the Cape Parliament requesting that Lesotho

be excluded from the disarmament policy is rejected. Gun War begins.




Batlokoa kill John Austen, and Chief Lelingoana sends his head

to Letsie. Gun War ends with treaty permitting the Basotho to keep their guns. 1884

Lesotho is disannexed from the Cape, and the British resume

direct control. Masopha and Maama refuse to recognize British rule. Main reef bearing gold is discovered in the Transvaal. 1885

Fighting between Joel and Jonathan Molapo ends with Joel’s au¬

thority restricted to Qalo. 1891

Letsie dies. Lerotholi becomes the new Morena e Moholo.

1892 Pit so is held at Matsieng to settle dispute between Lerotholi and Maama over Koro-Koro. 1893 Azariele Sekese publishes Buka ea pokello ea mekhoa ea Baso¬ tho le maele le litsomo. 1896

Rinderpest epidemic ravages Lesotho’s livestock.

1898 Dispute between Masopha and Lerotholi leads to battle. Village on top of Thaba Bosiu is abandoned. Masopha dies. 1903 First meeting of the Basutoland National Council is convened. Laws of Lerotholi are adopted. 1904 Naledi becomes the first newspaper published independently by Basotho. 1905 Lerotholi dies. Letsie II becomes paramount chief. Meetings of the Basutoland National Council are made annual. 1906

Separate Sesotho orthography for Lesotho is adopted. The Na¬

tional Industrial School (Lerotholi Institute) is opened in Maseru. 1907 Basutoland Progressive Association is formed. Thomas Mofolo’s novel, Moeti oa Bochabela, is published. 1909

Basotho chiefs send a delegation to England opposing incorpo¬

ration into the Union of South Africa. Basotho are informed that they will remain separate for the time being. 1910 The Union of South Africa is established. Thomas Mofolo’s novel, Pitseng, is published.


'chronology • xxvii


1911 10.6 percent of Basotho men are engaged in migrant labor in South Africa. 1912 The South African Native National Congress is formed at a meeting in Bloemfontein. Chief Maama, Philip Molise, and Josiah Mopeli represent Letsie II at this meeting. Chief Griffith Lerotholi joins the Catholic Church. 1913 Letsie II dies. Chief Lerotholi is installed as the new paramount chief. The Botshabelo Leper Asylum is established. 1914

Jonathan raids Joel. Riot at Jagersfontein mine kills 11 Basotho.

1917 Mende troop ship is sunk during World War I, killing hundreds of Basotho soldiers. 1919

Lekhotla la Bafo is established. Griffith and councilors go to

England. Basutoland National Council adopts Moshoeshoe Day as a public holiday. 1922

The Sons of Moshoeshoe examine members of the Basutoland

Progressive Association at an eight-day pitso. Walter Mattita establishes the Church of Moshoeshoe, 1926

Thomas Mofolo’s third novel, Chaka, is published after long

missionary opposition. 1928

Lesotho exports a significant amount of grain for the last time.

Jonathan Molapo dies. 1930

Lekhotla la Bafo holds Moshoeshoe Day celebration on Thaba

Bosiu. 1933

Catholic Mission begins to publish Moeletsi oa Basotho. Basu¬

toland Homemakers Association is founded. 1935

Pirn Report on economic and administrative difficulties is re¬

leased. 1938

Native Administration Proclamations No. 61 and 62 are promul¬

gated, reducing the number of chiefs who could hold courts from 2,500 to 1,340. Bereng Seeiso (later Moshoeshoe II) is bom. Scott Hospital in Morija opens. 1939

Griffith Lerotholi dies. Seeiso Griffith is installed as new para¬

mount chief.



Seeiso Griffith dies.


Amelia ’Mantsebo Seeiso is named regent for Bereng Seeiso.


District councils are established.


Pius XII College is opened in Roma. District councils meet be¬

fore the opening of the National Council session. 1946

National Treasury is formed.

1947 The first two kilometers of paved road in Lesotho are con¬ structed in Maseru. King George VI makes royal visit. Josiel Lefela is acquitted of charges of setting fire to a dormitory at Roma College. 1948

Members chosen from district councils are appointed to the Na¬

tional Council. 1949 Chiefs Gabashane Masopha and Bereng Griffith are executed for alleged complicity in liretlo murders. 1952

Basutoland African Congress (BAC) is founded.

1954 Moore Commission Report is released and rejected by the Na¬ tional Council. Mohlabani newspaper, associated with the BAC, ap¬ pears. 1955

Ntsu Mokhehle, Makalo Khaketla, and Zeph Mothopeng are

dismissed from their teaching positions at Basutoland High School be¬ cause of allegedly seditious articles in Mohlabani. 1956 The appointment of A. G. T. Chaplin, a white South African, as resident commissioner outrages all segments of Basotho. 29.4 percent of Basotho men are engaged in migrant labor in South Africa. 1957 Marema-Tlou Party (MTP) is founded. Queen Elizabeth Hospi¬ tal opens in Maseru. 1958

Constitutional Commission is appointed and provides recom¬

mendations for a new constitution evolving toward internal self-govern¬ ment. BAC is renamed Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) in preparation for elections. 1959

Basotho National Party (BNP) is founded.


General elections are held for district councils and half of the

National Council is chosen by the elected district councils. BCP wins


80 percent of the indirectly elected National Council seats, but becomes parliamentary opposition. First Basotho executive councilors heading government departments are selected by the National Council. Bereng Seeiso becomes paramount chief and assumes the name Moshoeshoe II. 1961 Emmanuel ’Mabathoana becomes first Mosotho Roman Catho¬ lic archbishop. 1963 Constitutional Commission is formed to make recommenda¬ tions for independence constitution. Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) is founded. Police Mobile Unit is created. 1964 PEMS becomes Eesotho Evangelical Church (LEC). Pius XII University College is transferred to the colonial administration and be¬ comes the University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland. 1965 Preindependence Constitution is promulgated. General election is held for the National Assembly. BNP wins plurality of the vote and National Assembly majority. Sekhonyana ’Maseribane is sworn in as first prime minister on an interim basis. Leabua Jonathan accepts gift of 100,000 bags of grain from South African Prime Minister Verwoerd for famine relief. Leabua Jonathan wins a special election in the Mpharane constituency and becomes prime minister. 1966

Independence resolution is endorsed in Parliament despite ef¬

forts of opposition and Moshoeshoe II to block it. Moshoeshoe II and opposition refuse to sign the independence agreement in London. Leso¬ tho receives independence on October 4. Government blocks Moshoe¬ shoe II’s “prayer meeting” at Thaba Bosiu, resulting in 10 deaths. Moshoeshoe II signs a document requiring that he will follow the in¬ structions of the prime minister or be “deemed to have abdicated.” 1967

The song “Lesotho Fatse la Bo-ntat’a Rona” becomes the na¬

tional anthem. 1969

Lesotho signs revised Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

Agreement. 1970

BCP wins National Assembly majority in the general election

with nearly 50 percent of the vote. Jonathan retains power with the help of the police, suspends the constitution, and declares a state of emer¬ gency. Police Mobile Unit suppresses resistance forcibly with consider-


able loss of life. Most opposition leaders are jailed. Moshoeshoe II is exiled for eight months. 1971 Leaders of opposition agree to annulment of election, but fail to gain a share of power. Suspended foreign assistance and diplomatic relations are restored. 1973

Appointed Interim National Assembly is formed, coopting some

opposition leaders and dividing their parties. 1974

J. T. Mapetla becomes the first Mosotho chief justice of the High

Court. Mokhehle faction of BCP mounts abortive coup that the PMU suppresses vigorously. BCP leadership flees into exile, primarily in Bo¬ tswana. Metsing Lekhanya becomes first Mosotho commander of the PMU. Lesotho signs new Rand Monetary Area Agreement. 1975 Jonathan nationalizes the Roma campus of the University of Bo¬ tswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland and renames it the National University of Lesotho. 1976 Lesotho brings claim to United Nations Security Council that South Africa has illegally closed its eastern border by transferring con¬ trol to the Transkei Bantustan. BCP National Executive in exile divides into hostile factions. Mokhehle faction facilitates military training of supporters to launch armed struggle. 1977 The number of Basotho men employed at gold fields peaks at 129,000. 1979 Mokhehle’s Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) launches its first attacks in Lesotho. Lesotho joins Southern African Development Coor¬ dination Conference (SADCC). 1980 PMU is transformed into separate Lesotho Paramilitary Force (LPF). Jonathan meets South African President Botha on Peka Bridge due to increased tensions. 1982 South African destabilization escalates with raid on ANC refu¬ gees in Maseru that kills 42. 1985 South African destabilization continues with economic embargo sealing border at Maseru. 1986

LPF seizes power on January 20. Metsing Lekhanya becomes

chairman of the new Military Council. Political parties are banned


under state of emergency. Highlands Water Treaty is signed. Former Cabinet Ministers Desmond Sixishe and Vincent Makhele are murdered by soldiers. 1987

Leabua Jonathan dies.


Pope John Paul II visits Lesotho.

1989 Mokhehle and most exiles are permitted to return, ending the LLA insurgency. 1990

Royalist supporters in the Cabinet are dismissed by the Military

Council. Lekhanya exiles Moshoeshoe II and deposes him from kingship. Crown Prince Mohato is sworn in as King Letsie III. National Constituent Assembly is established to prepare return to civilian rule. 1991

Mutinous soldiers oust Lekhanya and install Phisoana Ramaema

as chairman of the Military Council. Riots aimed at Asian traders dam¬ age Maseru and other towns. 1992

Moshoeshoe II returns from exile as Chief Bereng Seeiso.

1993 New Constitution is promulgated and civilian rule is restored. BCP wins all 65 National Assembly seats in general election. Ntsu Mokhehle becomes prime minister. Soldiers at Makoanyane Barracks mutiny. 1994

Soldiers from rival Ratjomose and Makoanyane Barracks fight

pitched battle in Maseru. Deputy Prime Minister Selometsi Baholo is murdered by soldiers. Lesotho Mounted Police go on strike. African National Congress wins South African election and Nelson Mandela be¬ comes president. King Letsie III mounts coup against the elected Mok¬ hehle government. Coercive diplomacy by SADC troika, Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe compels Letsie to restore the BCP govern¬ ment. 1995

Moshoeshoe II is reinstated as king pursuant to agreement with

the SADC guarantors. National Security Service detectives mutiny against officers. Police stage slowdown and, later, a mutiny resulting in the deaths of three officers. 1996

Moshoeshoe II dies in an auto accident. Letsie III is reinstalled

as king. Defence Commission of Enquiry, sponsored by SADC guaran-


tors, investigates causes of the 1994 mutiny. Constitutional amendment provides for civilian control of the security forces and legislation estab¬ lishes Ministry of Defence. 1997

Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) is founded and be¬

comes the ruling party after Mokhehle loses control of the BCP, which becomes the parliamentary opposition. LDF battles police officers who resist the arrest of those charged with murdering officers. 1998

LCD wins 79 of 80 seats in general election judged fair by inter¬

national observers. Pakalitha Mosisili becomes prime minister as Ntsu Mokhehle retires. Opposition Setlamo Coalition organizes demonstra¬ tion against alleged electoral fraud. SADC-sponsored Langa Commis¬ sion issues ambiguous report about electoral fairness. LDF junior officers and soldiers mutiny and oust the 24 ranking officers. Mosisili requests SADC intervention to stem disorder. SADC troops intervene and battle LDF before securing control. Demonstrators and fleeing sol¬ diers loot and bum businesses in Maseru and other towns. LCD remains in power, but Interim Political Authority (IPA) is established to devise new electoral system. Katse Dam begins to deliver water to South Af¬ rica. Muela Hydropower Station opens. 1999 Ntsu Mokhehle dies. SADC forces depart, leaving a unit to re¬ train the LDF. An estimated 10 percent of Basotho are infected by AIDS virus. 2000 New Independent Electoral Commission is appointed to conduct the next election. Leon Commission of Enquiry into the 1998 political disturbances conducts hearings. 2001 Leon Commission report identifies persons responsible for the 1998 insurrection. 2002

LCD wins 79 of 80 constituency seats for the National Assem¬

bly in the general election, which is viewed as free and fair by interna¬ tional observers. Nine opposition parties share 40 seats in the National Assembly through proportional representation. Revised SACU agree¬ ment is signed. Employment of Basotho men on the gold fields drops to 61,000. Thuathe meteorite falls on Lesotho. 2003 Impoundment of water begins at the Mohale Dam. Rate of HIV infection is estimated in 20-30 percent range.



When looking at a map, many viewers would not recognize as a sepa¬ rate state the area that looks like an off-center donut hole inside South Africa. If they did, they probably would not pronounce its name cor¬ rectly. The sounds were recorded by French missionaries, so that the “th” is pronounced like a hard “t” and the o’s sound like double o’s in English, namely Lesootoo. Even Albert Mohale, Lesotho’s first ambas¬ sador to the United States, sometimes pronounced it incorrectly when talking to Americans. He explained that no one in Washington knew what country he was talking about if he said it the right way. Typically the next question asked would be how and why such a state, surrounded completely by a single neighbor, came to exist and why it still survives. The struggle to remain apart from British- or Boerdominated settler colonies and, later, apartheid South Africa character¬ ized Lesotho’s history from shortly after its founding at the beginning of the 19th century until the 1990s. Since then, the central question has become whether Lesotho can possibly survive and flourish as a separate entity. As a politically unstable and economically marginalized enclave, it risks exclusion from access to and full participation in the far more robust and dynamic political economy of a democratic, majority-ruled South Africa. The Basotho nation was founded by a shrewd diplomat, warrior, and political innovator, Moshoeshoe, from remnants of peoples displaced by Shaka’s expanding Zulu kingdom. Moshoeshoe’s power was based on his ability to provide sanctuary and sustenance in difficult times, rather than a clear hereditary right to rule. His protostate expanded and was consolidated by placing his sons over the various local leaders and their followers who had sought his protection. The process was based primarily on consultation, consent, and reciprocity rather than use of force. xxxiii


ETHNICITY AND GEOGRAPHY Most of Lesotho’s people are of Southern Sotho origin and speak Sesotho, a Bantu language. Small segments of peoples of Xhosa and Zulu origin have been fairly well assimilated within the nation. Although Ba¬ sotho still identify themselves as members of subgroups such as the Bafokeng, Bakoena, Basia, Bataung, Batlokoa, and Baphuthi, these ethnic divisions have not been significant sources of political conflict. The Ba¬ sotho are part of a larger Sotho-Tswana ethnolinguistic community stretching north through the Free State and Botswana into Zambia and the northern Transvaal area of South Africa. In present-day Lesotho, Europeans, Asians, and people of mixed origin constitute less than 1 percent of the population of 2.2 million, but have occasionally been tar¬ gets of ill will because of their dominant economic roles. A truncated version of the territory claimed by the Basotho became Basutoland by accepting British protection in 1868. A series of prior wars with British and Boer intruders meant that the greater portion of the fertile land in Moshoeshoe’s domain was lost to white farmers, leav¬ ing the Basotho to eke out a living in the rugged remnant. Almost 80 percent of modern Lesotho is a mountainous area at elevations of 2,100-3,400 meters (7,000 to 11,000 feet), dissected by deep river val¬ leys. This remote area was sparsely settled or largely uninhabited in Moshoeshoe’s time. Thabana-Ntlenyana in the Mokhotlong District at 3,482 meters (11,424 feet) is the highest point in southern Africa. Leso¬ tho has also appeared in Ripley’s as the country with the highest low point in the world, almost one mile above sea level. What remains of precolonial Lesotho and the added mountain area is a Maryland-sized, landlocked enclave of 30,355 square kilometers (11,720 sq mi), only 10 percent of which is arable. Loss of the best land also explains why there are considerably more ethnic Basotho who are citizens of South Africa than citizens of Lesotho. Many Basotho remained to work on lands transformed into white farms. Even more came as migrant workers or crossed the porous frontier illegally to find work and, out of economic necessity, managed to stay despite decades of South African efforts to repatriate them.

COLONIAL RULE In 1868, Great Britain extended protection to Lesotho, thereby prevent¬ ing it from being overrun by the neighboring Orange Free State. Al-


though this decision may have reflected some humanitarian concern for the fate of the Basotho nation, the primary determinants of British pol¬ icy toward Lesotho were to keep the territory out of hostile hands and, as in most British colonial territories, to minimize any administrative expense or military commitment necessary to protect British interests. Hence, the British swiftly turned administration of what it called Basu¬ toland over to the government of the Cape Colony. Implementation of the Cape pattern of “native administration,” taxation, and disarmament, contrary to what Basotho considered the appropriate protected status provided in their agreement with Britain, led to the rebellion of promi¬ nent chiefs like Masopha, Joel, and Lerotholi. After serious setbacks leading to military stalemate, the Cape turned the administration of Ba¬ sutoland back to the imperial government in 1884. Because second-echelon descendants of Moshoeshoe had challenged both the paramountcy and colonial authority, the British strategy for promoting order and stability was consistently to promote the authority of Moshoeshoe’s successor, Letsie I, and subsequent paramount chiefs. Left largely to their own devices, Letsie I and his descendants, Lero¬ tholi, Letsie II, and Griffith, all used the system of placing their sons over prior regional and local rulers to strengthen central power and the dominance of their Mokoteli branch of Moshoeshoe’s Koena lineage. Colonial commitment to this monarchical pattern permitted what was initially a popularly accountable system of traditional rule to become an increasingly oligarchic kingship under a burgeoning class of chiefs, each claiming prerogatives of taxing, commandeering communal labor, allocating land, and holding courts without necessarily providing recip¬ rocal services to their communities. Following the discovery of diamonds at Kimberley in 1867, the Ba¬ sotho had experienced a period of prosperity. Basotho farmers had been quick to accept innovations such as ploughs, horses, and new crops, so that agricultural productivity surged to fill the demand for grain from this new market. Basotho employed on the mines had used their income to acquire farm implements and the guns that had permitted their resis¬ tance to Cape rule. But this interlude was to be brief, as road tariffs and other discriminatory policies were imposed within the Free State that prevented Basotho products from remaining competitive. The population of Basutoland grew rapidly during the last three dec¬ ades of the 19th century due to relative tranquility, improved health practices, and the resettlement of people displaced by racist policies and


the Anglo-Boer conflict across the border. As a result of increasing scarcity of land, chiefs exercised an often-capricious authority over land allocation, friable soils were severely damaged by poor agricultural practices, and production stagnated and declined as Basutoland moved from self-sufficiency to deficiency in food production. The vicious cir¬ cle of migration to South Africa for employment on mines and farms escalated, producing what has been described as a labor reserve econ¬ omy. Able-bodied men left for the mines on extended contracts, leaving women, older people, and returned (often infirm) workers to farm the lands. Under the system of communal tenure where lands were not fenced, their young sons became herd boys tending the family cattle instead of attending school. Lacking education, this next generation awaited their own initiation into manhood as migrants, repeating the same vicious cycle. Especially after the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the British colonial administration saw the dependence of Basu¬ toland’s economy on South Africa as both natural and desirable. Only the vigorous and united resistance of leaders from Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland dissuaded the British from moving ahead with incorporation of these three colonies into South Africa. British commit¬ ment to their eventual transfer was explicitly mentioned in the South Africa Act and implicit in the establishment of the British High Com¬ missioner in South Africa, not the Colonial Office, as the administrative authority for what were now called High Commission Territories. The specter of incorporation also explains why the many articulate Basotho, well educated in the competing Protestant and Roman Catholic mission school systems, were not more virulent in their criticisms of the failure of the colonial government to stem economic decline or of the prolifer¬ ating and increasingly unresponsive chieftainship. First, the monarch and senior chieftainship had been the bulwark against involuntary in¬ clusion in white-dominated South Africa. Second, criticism of both chiefs and the colonial administration seemed likely to enhance British eagerness to implement the much-feared transfer. Maintenance of an unsatisfactory status quo was the least negative option. Belated British recognition of the deterioration of Basutoland’s econ¬ omy came only during the depths of the great depression, which coin¬ cided with a devastating drought. Neither colonial neglect nor the debilitating labor reserve economy was blamed for the problem, but


rather the pattern of indigenous administration that colonial rule had fostered and the allegedly deficient agricultural practices of the Baso¬ tho. Emergent Basotho nationalist groups were themselves divided with the Progressive Association, criticizing the failure of the colonial ad¬ ministration to reform the practices of the chieftainship, and the more militant Lekhotla la Bafo, condemning the perversion of traditionally responsive indigenous institutions through colonial and missionary pol¬ icies and practices. The British solution was to devote some energy and resources to soil conservation and to apply a system of “native adminis¬ tration” similar to the classic indirect rule pattern practiced in their other African colonies. These “reforms” occurred in the midst of a na¬ tional crisis that followed the death of the long-serving Paramount Chief Griffith Lerotholi in 1939. The succession of his less favored son, Seeiso, was hotly contested. When Seeiso died a year later, the selection of Seeiso’s wife, ’Mantsebo, as regent instead of Griffith’s favorite, Bereng, was even more controversial. The resulting internecine strife within the senior chieftainship reduced resistance to the new adminis¬ trative arrangements, but also permitted new nationalist groupings, rather than the monarchy, to become the primary challengers to the co¬ lonial system. Only when the Nationalist Party in South Africa began to entrench its odious apartheid system after winning the 1948 election did the British begin to consider the future of Basutoland on its own merits, as the chimera of incorporation began to fade. For decades citizens of Basutoland, who migrated to or were resident in South Africa, had been active participants in the African National Congress (ANC) and other militant movements. They carried their awareness of and commitment to the struggle against racism and colo¬ nialism back home. Unfortunately, the intrusion of South African issues helped to politicize already substantial lines of cleavage in Basutoland, leading to the relentless factional contention that has plagued the Baso¬ tho throughout the struggle to gain independence and the subsequent history of independent Lesotho. Virtually all Basotho had agreed with the Basutoland African Congress (BAC) call for self-government, end¬ ing racial discrimination and opening employment opportunities. But chiefs. Catholics, colonial administrators, and other conservatives, im¬ mersed in South African anticommunist rhetoric, quickly perceived dangerous radical tendencies in its links to South African liberation or¬ ganizations and pan-African movements. Such militancy, it was feared,



could disrupt access to employment and the other vital economic trans¬ actions with South Africa critical to survival in their impoverished en¬ clave. This volatile issue interacted with existing tensions between Protestants and Catholics, chiefs and commoners, senior and junior chiefs, supporters of the Regent and the youthful heir, and more edu¬ cated urbanites and remote rural dwellers. These factors began to mani¬ fest themselves in the fairly placid 1960 election, but emerged full force during the hotly contested run-up to the preindependence election of 1965. Whether Basotho must simply adapt to the reality of the apartheid system in South Africa or take risks in the process of attempting to de¬ stroy it became a major issue demarcating competing political strate¬ gies. South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd’s renewed call for the incorporation of the three High Commission Territories within his Bantu homelands concept added fuel to the fire. The split in South Africa between Pan-African Congress (PAC) Africanists and ANC Charterists also reverberated within Basutoland, fragmenting the mili¬ tant camp where contention against Ntsu Mokhehle’s authoritarian leadership combined with opposition to his decision to associate his Congress Party with Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe’s PAC. To the debate over appropriate interactions with the apartheid regime, overtones from the Sino-Soviet split and Cold War were added. The conservative Baso¬ tho National Party (BNP) received assistance from Germany and South Africa, the militant Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) from Beijing, and the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) coalition from pro-Soviet sources. Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan’s preindependence govern¬ ment emerged in a context of relentless partisanship, further exacer¬ bated by his strategy of trying to develop positive linkages with South Africa to enhance the well-being of the Basotho nation. The opposition coalition, comprising the BCP, MFP, and Moshoeshoe II, used the long¬ standing fear of betrayal to South Africa to rally support and justify their refusal to support independence under Chief Jonathan’s BNP. When the Union Jack was lowered on October 4, 1966, Great Britain had not permitted Lesotho to be incorporated within South Africa, but had left it economically marginalized and politically factionalized. Do¬ mestic economic and social infrastructure was minimal with a per cap¬ ita gross national product (GNP) of $86 and life expectancy of 44 years. With the labor reserve pattern deeply entrenched, Lesotho’s new rulers

'introduction • xxxix

were left with few viable options to transform their economy and meet popular expectations. This situation facilitated the politics of blame and recrimination, increased the temptation to adopt authoritarian means to cling to power, and enhanced incentives for politicians and civil ser¬ vants to improve their personal well-being when they had the opportu¬ nity.

ERA OF INDEPENDENCE Lesotho’s initial five years of democratic government under Chief Jona¬ than produced some notable changes, including reconstruction and pav¬ ing of a portion of the major north-south highway, initiation of several large agricultural projects, construction of a major hotel, and a marked increase in foreign aid. However, the impact of these improvements was localized and insufficient to counter the impression of subservience to South Africa fostered by police cooperation against stock theft and the use of white South African personnel in many highly visible adminis¬ trative and judicial positions. An adamant opposition that highlighted every flaw and remained determined to reverse the 1965 electoral out¬ come prevailed at the polls in 1970. The unexpected result was 16 years of authoritarian civilian rule, when Chief Jonathan suspended the Con¬ stitution and illegally retained power with the support of the security forces, followed by seven years of military rule. Due partially to Chief Jonathan’s political skills and to good luck, Lesotho experienced periods of economic growth and relative prosper¬ ity despite outbursts of violence and repression. Jonathan’s allegations that South Africa had closed its eastern border with the Transkei, his newfound support for the ANC, and his largely symbolic efforts to re¬ gain democratic legitimacy led to a marked increase in foreign aid. For¬ eign donors found Lesotho to be a place where they could make a risk¬ free demonstration of their opposition to apartheid, particularly follow¬ ing the Soweto uprising in South Africa. In 1977, the number of Leso¬ tho’s migrant mine workers peaked after a period when rising gold prices had fueled rapid escalation of the salaries and conditions of ser¬ vice of mine workers. The surge of migrant remittances, increasing cus¬ toms revenues, and external assistance temporarily lessened economic and political pressures on Jonathan’s regime. Lesotho had also become


part of what was called the “pleasure periphery” of South Africa, where tourists could see pornographic films, gamble, and have interra¬ cial sexual adventures not permitted in apartheid South Africa. For sev¬ eral years, the Linda Lovelace film Deep Throat showed daily at noon to entertain South Africa truckers before their homeward journeys. In addition, Lesotho’s spectacular mountain terrain, atypically for Africa, offered winter snow and skiing as well as pony trekking and camping, all attractive for family excursions. A new vicious cycle took root with the beginning of the Lesotho Lib¬ eration Army (LLA) insurgency in 1979. Reports of endemic violence by the South African press gradually put an end to the tourism industry, exacerbated by competition from even more lavish and convenient facilities opened in South Africa’s supposedly independent Bantustans. A stagnant price for gold led to a gradual decline in employment for Basotho mine workers, slowing the flow of cash to Lesotho. South Afri¬ ca’s campaign of destabilization including raids and economic actions against Lesotho inflicted serious harm despite some compensatory in¬ creases in external aid. Jonathan’s declining energies, factionalism within his government, and a growing culture of corruption made cop¬ ing effectively with these problems less possible. The military seized power in Lesotho in 1986 and ruled until 1993. Relationships with South Africa improved, strengthening suspicions that the apartheid regime had deliberately mounted an economic em¬ bargo on Lesotho to oust Chief Jonathan and get a government that would endorse the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). How¬ ever, military rule clearly lessened the enthusiasm of the donor commu¬ nity and did nothing to improve Lesotho’s reputation for being a risky place for both investments and personal holidays. Even then, external assistance kept its economy functioning as Lesotho received about $65 per person in 1988, roughly 16 percent of Lesotho’s GNP of $410 per capita. To cover its burgeoning debt, the military government was com¬ pelled to sign a structural adjustment agreement requiring economic and political reform, including fiscal austerity. Military mutinies and strikes by teachers, police, and civil servants during the early 1990s were compounded by the inability of the military and subsequent civil¬ ian governments to meet salary demands. The return to democracy in 1993 held promise of a new virtuous eco¬ nomic cycle based on domestic employment generated by the construe-


tion of the Phases IA and B of the Highlands Water Project, customs revenues from importation of the needed materials and equipment, en¬ hanced support from aid donors, and the return of foreign investors and tourists. However, the series of mutinies and strikes within the various security forces from 1994 through 1997 and the obdurate rejection by the opposition of 1993 election results, deemed free and fair by outside observers, undercut the benefits of renewed civilian rule. South Africa under black majority rule became a far more exciting destination for aid donors, whose prior interest in Lesotho had been primarily a means of influencing developments across the border. High inflation, fostered by the decline of the rand from 2.8 per U.S. dollar in 1991 to 8 per dollar in 2001, increased poverty by raising the cost of both foreign and local goods. Most importantly, the decline in opportunities to work in South African mines became even stronger due to stagnant gold prices, poorer-quality ores in old mines, and preferences given to South Afri¬ can over foreign workers. Indeed, Basotho migrants long resident in South Africa were now eligible for permanent resident status, depriving Lesotho of income from their earnings. Privatization of state-run enter¬ prises in accordance with structural reform requirements had some suc¬ cesses, but led to the demise of Lesotho Airways and high anxiety among workers fearing retrenchment under private and, probably, for¬ eign ownership. Only the construction of the Highlands project coun¬ tered the sharp decline in migrant remittances and permitted slow growth of Lesotho’s economy until 1998 when the Setlamo political insurrection virtually shut down the economy and caused significant de¬ struction of property. In 1998, Botswana and South Africa, acting on behalf of the South¬ ern African Development Community (SADC), intervened militarily in Lesotho to restore the authority of Pakalitha Mosisili’s elected Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government. After the initial violence and destruction ended, Lesotho experienced a rare respite from political violence and overt conflict. A new mixed-member electoral system emerged from compromises between the government and the Interim Political Authority (IPA), established by SADC to design a more inclu¬ sive arrangement. The ruling LCD achieved a solid majority in the new National Assembly that included representatives of nine opposition par¬ ties that had gained no voice following the 1993 and 1998 elections. Mosisili’s government commanded considerable popular support and


appeared committed to rooting out corruption and to regularizing pub¬ lic-sector finances. Despite this political transformation, Lesotho’s economic prospects seem even more bleak. Retrenchment of miners has continued, decreas¬ ing remittances to Lesotho. Construction on the Highlands Project has come to an end, reducing employment and drastically lowering the re¬ sulting customs revenues. New regional free trade arrangements with the European Union threaten to reduce them even further. Excessive rain destroyed crops, so that in 2003, Lesotho faced serious famine and starvation. The HIV virus has infected almost 30 percent of the popula¬ tion, creating a huge humanitarian crisis that the government has no re¬ sources to remedy, including the loss of many highly trained individuals. At the heart of the problem is that Lesotho now has approx¬ imately 2.2 million people crowded into that same small area that poorly accommodated 1 million in 1966. At least half of the population exists below a minimal poverty line and approximately 45 percent are unemployed. In 2001 per capita gross domestic product (GDP) at pur¬ chasing power parity was estimated at $2,450, but with huge disparities between those employed primarily in government and the urban unem¬ ployed and rural poor. Life expectancy has declined from the mid-sixties to the mid-forties, about its level at independence. Since all of Lesotho’s liabilities get constant attention from analysts within the country and abroad, a somewhat broader perspective needs to be noted in conclusion. Individuals who have been exposed to the devastation in states like Angola, Burundi, Congo, and Sierra Leone are frequently surprised when they encounter negative and fatalistic selfimages in Maseru. They note that most things work in Lesotho, includ¬ ing a fairly reliable supply of power, water, and telephone service and a surprisingly developed road network given the rugged terrain. Despite past human rights abuses, Lesotho has never experienced mass killings or mutilations and has no political prisoners, unless perpetrators of mili¬ tary mutinies and civilian insurrections are placed in that category. The most positive prospect for Lesotho’s future is that the South Af¬ rican government seems more aware of the price it will pay for an eco¬ nomically desperate and politically unstable Lesotho within its borders. New collaboration on several cross-border ventures in the Mokhotlong and Sani Pass areas hold some promise for generating economic activ¬ ity and being forerunners of further joint projects. Politically, the ANC


government seems to have dropped its former ambivalence toward Le¬ sotho’s ruling LCD. The LCD’s revolutionary credentials were ques¬ tioned due to its past linkages through the BCP to the PAC and through the LLA to the apartheid regime. The LCD’s current democratic man¬ date now outweighs its alleged revolutionary deficiencies. On the eco¬ nomic front, new textile factories have proliferated. However, the lowpaying jobs they provide for thousands of Basotho to produce goods for the United States market may serve as a palliative, but cannot be ex¬ pected to fuel genuine economic transformation. Ironically, given Leso¬ tho’s historical efforts to remain apart from South Africa, its most positive prospects derive from gaining special access to the South Afri¬ can work force and markets. Economic union while retaining political independence seems a likely outcome, all the more so because count¬ less Basotho are creating de facto union by streaming across the porous border in search of work and better social services. Further South Afri¬ can assistance in developing Lesotho’s water resources and high poten¬ tial for tourism could enhance this emerging economic reality.




The Dictionary


AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH (AME). This de nomination was established in South Africa in 1896 when the Rev. James Dwane and the Rev. J. G. Xaba of the Ethiopian Church trav¬ eled to the United States in order to affiliate themselves with the American Church. The AME Church of South Africa espoused many philosophies similar to the Ethiopian churches, such as African lead¬ ership and the economic independence of Africans. In 1898 the Rev.

Cranmer Sebeta was ordained as a minister in the AME church and established the first congregation at Matelile. From there it spread northwards, with small congregations appearing in the lowlands. The growth of the AME was initially hampered by the colonial authori¬ ties, who took exception to the Church’s message. After 1904, a toned-down version of the AME emerged that resembled most of the other Protestant churches in Lesotho. In 1956 the AME church in Lesotho was grouped with congrega¬ tions in Botswana, Mozambique, and Swaziland to form the 18th Episcopal District, under its own bishop, separate from South Africa. In 2000 the AME appointed its first female bishop, Rev. Vashti Mc¬ Kenzie, to serve in the 18th district. In 2000, the 18th district in¬ cluded 200 churches with a membership of nearly 10,000. The AME currently operates five high schools in Lesotho.



AGRICULTURE. See ECONOMY. AIDS. See MEDICAL SERVICES AND DISEASES. ALIWAL NORTH, CONVENTION OF (12 FEBRUARY 1869). A border agreement, also known as the “Second Treaty of Aliwal North,” that effectively ended a decade of war over land between the Basotho and the Orange Free State (OFS). Signed by British High Commissioner Sir Philip Wodehouse and OFS President Jan Hen¬ drik Brand, the treaty restored to the Basotho a portion of territory lost to the OFS in 1866. It also established the border still in effect today. The demarcation of this boundary allowed OFS farmers and speculators to alienate inhabited Basotho lands. An immense popula¬ tion of landless Basotho resulted, prompting a delegation to England to petition against the treaty’s harshness. Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) minister Francois Daumas, with help from his PEMS colleague in Paris, Eugene Casalis, accompanied Ts’ekelo, son of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, on the London delegation. See also ANNEXATION OF 1868; ANNEXATION OF 1871; DAU¬ MAS, FRANCOIS; SENEKAL’S WAR; SEQITI WAR; THABA BOSIU, TREATY OF. ALIWAL NORTH, TREATY OF. On 29 September 1858, the Baso¬ tho chief, Moshoeshoe, signed with the Orange Free State (OFS) a peace agreement brokered by British High Commissioner Sir George Grey. Designed to end Senekal’s War, the document called for strict adherence to a newly designated border. Since fighting had erupted over contested territory on Basutoland’s southwestern frontier, the treaty established a new boundary lying approximately halfway be¬ tween two contradictory lines established during the Orange River Sovereignty. The northern border between Basutoland and the OFS remained vaguely defined. Although the agreement returned to Basu¬ toland some lands lost skirmishing with the Free State, it prevented Basotho from entering the OFS to hunt game. In addition, Free State farmers received the right to punish Basotho cattle thieves should Moshoeshoe fail to take disciplinary action. See also WARDEN BOUNDARY. ALLARD, FRANCOIS (1806-1889). A French Roman Catholic missionary and member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.),



Bishop Allard arrived in South Africa in 1852 to supervise missions among the Amazulu. In 1863, he traveled to Basutoland with fellow priest Joseph Gerard to establish the first Catholic mission among the Basotho. Popularly known as Ha BaRoma (the home of the Roman people) or, in shortened form, Roma, the mission received the sanction of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. Allard eventually re¬ turned to France for health reasons, becoming archbishop of Tarone in 1874.

AMAHLUBI. The Nguni-speaking Amahlubi originally lived in Natal. Propelled by the events of the lifaqane, many Amahlubi left their home on the headwaters of the Thukela (Tugela) River to follow Chief Mpangazitha across the Drakensberg Mountains. Settling on the Caledon River in ca. 1821, they quickly skirmished with the Amangwane. Within a few years, Mpangazitha died in battle and the Amangwane emerged victorious. One group of Amahlubi fled east over the Drakensberg Mountains, eventually forming a special regi¬ ment under the leadership of the Amazulu chief, Shaka. A second group of refugees sought protection under the Amandebele chief, Mzilikazi, only to flee his dominion several years later. The remain¬ ing Amahlubi integrated with their Amangwane attackers. In 1828, the Amangwane chief, Matiwane, withdrew to Natal, but several of his Amangwane and Amahlubi followers remained in the Caledon River region. Ultimately the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, incorpo¬ rated these people. See also LANGALIBALELE.

AMANDEBELE. Known historically for an ethnically based, stratified social system, as well as military regiments, the Nguni-speaking Amandebele stem from the Khumalo chiefdom in Natal. In 1822, fol¬ lowing the orders of their Amazulu overlord, Shaka, members of a minor branch of the Khumalo attacked a Sesotho-speaking chiefdom on the Highveld. Deciding to keep the spoils of pillage, their chief, Mzilikazi, led his followers north to avoid Amazulu reprisals. Along the way, he raided and absorbed northern Sesotho-speaking commu¬ nities. Eventually this growing community of Nguni-speaking con¬ querors and subjugated Sesotho speakers formed the Amandebele. In 1823, the Amandebele settled in the eastern Transvaal on the upper Oliphant River. Within two years they moved again, distancing


themselves further from the threat of Amazulu justice and sending conquering regiments in an ever-increasing arc. In 1832, the Amandebele stopped for several years in the Marico valley, attacking and integrating many of the local Bahurutshe inhabitants. Chased north¬ wards by a combined force of Voortrekkers and Barolong in 1837, they settled in present-day southern Zimbabwe.

AMANGWANE. The Nguni-speaking Amangwane derive from Natal. Suffering defeat at the hands of the Amazulu, the Amangwane mi¬ grated west of the Drakensberg Mountains in ca. 1821. Seeking dom¬ inance in the Caledon River region, they successfully fought the

Amahlubi to gain control in ca. 1823. Their leader, Matiwane, ex¬ acted tribute from local communities and absorbed into his chiefdom Sesotho speakers as well as several Amahlubi refugees. The Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, ranked among those in a tributary relationship to Matiwane. From 1826, Matiwane’s hegemony lessened due to multiple set¬ backs. Ecological disaster and raids by both the Amazulu and Amandebele undermined Matiwane’s chiefdom, and Moshoeshoe successfully repelled an Amangwane attack from his stronghold at

Thaba Bosiu. Faced with lost prestige and control, Matiwane led his followers south to the Transkei. There they tangled with British forces called in to help local chiefs fight the Amangwane. Defeated at the Battle of Mbolompho on 27 August 1828, Matiwane and many of his adherents departed for Natal. Other Amangwane returned to the Caledon River region at Moshoeshoe’s suggestion where they merged with the growing Basotho nation.

AMAVUNDLE. See BATHEPU. AMAZIZI. The Nguni-speaking Amazizi originally lived in Natal. In ca. 1600, a small band of Amazizi settlers first ventured over the Dra¬ kensberg Mountains to the Caledon River region. Other groups fol¬ lowed over the next two centuries, with the lifaqane catalyzing the most populous migration around 1818. The region’s early contact with the Amazizi stimulated trade in iron, and regional iron forging followed the earliest immigrants. Arrivals during the late 18th or early 19th century brought beads to the area. As the various Amazizi


communities integrated with local inhabitants, they formed the Baphuthi chiefdom. Oral tradition reports that the earliest newcomers took the phuthi (antelope) as their seboko (totem) when a young Amazizi chief married a Mophuthi. In the 19th century, the Baphuthi fused with the emerging Basotho nation. See also MAPHETLA; MAPOLANE.

ANGLICAN CHURCH IN LESOTHO. During the 1850s, Moshoeshoe greeted Bishop Gary of Cape Town when he passed near Lesotho and requested missionaries from the Anglican Church. Although no Anglican missionaries were sent, the Basotho ruler sent two of his junior sons later in the decade to study at the Anglican school at Zonnebloem. One of these sons, Jeremiah Libopuoa, so excelled at school that the missionaries sent him to England to train as a priest. However, he died there in 1863 before he was ordained. In 1863 Bishop Twells of the newly formed Diocese of Bloemfontein held the first Anglican service in Lesotho at Thaba Bosiu. During the next decade, Canon Beckett and Canon Bevan of the Orange Free State (OFS) established an Anglican presence in Lesotho. Beckett and Bevan ministered primarily to government officials and traders and made no attempt to convert Basotho. By the end of the 1860s the Anglican Church had begun to make headway in Lesotho, but not until 1875 was a priest, Rev. E. W. Stenson, stationed in the colony. The following year the church established mission stations at both Mohale’s Hoek and Hlotse. From the beginning, the Anglican Church of Lesotho has been part of the Province of South Africa Di¬ ocese. The mission station at Hlotse was under John Widdicombe, while the Rev. Stenson was transferred to Mohale’s Hoek. The mis¬ sionaries at these stations were instructed to distance themselves from both the chiefs and the colonial administration. The Anglican Church’s first decade of expansion in Lesotho culminated in the building, at the behest of Chief Joel Molapo, of a church and school by the Rev. Francis Balfour at Sekubu. Before the eruption of the Gun War, the Anglican Church was on the verge of expanding its operations in Lesotho through a girl’s boarding school in Mohale’s Hoek and'a planned industrial school in Hlotse. The war not only put these plans on hold, but it also severely damaged the gains that the Church had made in Lesotho over the


previous decade. As a result of their “loyalty” and association with the English, Anglican churches and schools were destroyed, and its missionaries driven out of the country. Basotho converts to the Church suffered nearly as much, having their lands seized by rebel¬ ling chiefs. In the decade after the Gun War, six new churches/missions were built in Lesotho (Matsieng, Mafeteng, Tsikoane, Mokhotlong, Masite, and Teyateyaneng). The Masite mission was constructed in 1886, with a church and school opening in successive years. In 1890 the Anglicans built their first English Medium School at Maseru, which also served as a church until St. John’s was built in 1892. Ma¬ seru did not have a resident priest until Rev. Alfred Lewis was posted there in 1899. The absence of Basotho in Maseru was the main rea¬ son why the Church waited so long to place somebody there. Built on an adjacent site in 1912, St. John’s replaced this earlier church. As a result of the efforts of Deaconess Maria S. B. Burton, who was the founder of St. Catherine’s School, St. James Cathedral in Maseru was completed in 1906. St. James catered to more of a Basotho con¬ gregation than St. John’s. In 1894 the Anglican Church expanded its educational offerings in Basutoland when it opened a teacher train¬ ing college at Hlotse. This school remained in operation until a staffing shortage forced it to close in 1907. Other accomplishments of the 1890s included the opening of St. Savior Church at Hlotse in 1890, St. Stephen’s Church at Mohale’s Hoek in 1896, and the open¬ ing of the Tsikoane mission in 1892. During the colonial period of the 20th century, the Anglican Church continued to grow, but remained the third largest church be¬ hind the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) and the Roman

Catholics. According to Resident Commissioner Herbert Sloley, in 1906, 1,000 Basotho children were being taught in Anglican schools, compared to 10,000 in schools run by the PEMS. By 1906 the Angli¬ can Church had 11 priests at eight locations in Lesotho. In 1922 the Church expanded into the mountains and placed a full-time priest at Mokhotlong. By 1930 the Church had 11 missions and 66 outstations in the country. The position of the Church in the early 20th century can be measured in some of its converts. Reacting to a dream that he had around 1909, in which Moshoeshoe, Letsie I, and Masopha appeared to him and asked him why he had not converted, Chief

ANNEXATION OF 1868 • 7 /

Griffith Lerotholi sought out an Anglican priest and was baptized at Mohale’s Hoek. However, Griffith lost interest in the Church, and after another dream converted to the Roman Catholic Church. The first Mosotho ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church was the Rev. John Velohe in 1913. Although it was the third largest church, the Anglicans did not build up a large network of schools like the Protestants and the Catholics. In 1901, Francis Balfour became the first Anglican Deacon of Ba¬ sutoland. Although he continued to be responsible for the church in Lesotho, in 1911, he became the assistant bishop of Bloemfontien. For the first time, in 1925, several Basotho were elected to attend the Diocesan Synod at Bloemfontien. Although the question had been raised since the end of the 19th century, it was not until 1951 when the Rev. John Arthur Arrowsmith Maund was consecrated as the First Bishop of Basutoland, that Lesotho was an independent diocese. In 1976, he retired and was replaced by the Rev. Desmond Tutu who served as bishop for two years. Although the Anglican Church oper¬ ates a number of schools and one hospital, it is still the smallest of the three large denominations in Lesotho. The church’s limited financial support and smaller membership has helped keep it out of most of the political struggles that have often embroiled the Lesotho Evan¬

gelical Church and the Roman Catholic Church. ANNEXATION OF 1868. After years of futility, in 1868 Moshoeshoe finally succeeded in obtaining British protection from the Boers of the Orange Free State (OFS). On 12 March 1868, British High

Commissioner and Governor of the Cape Philip Wodehouse de¬ clared Basutoland a British colony. The annexation of Basutoland by the British and the new border with the OFS were not confirmed until the Convention of Aliwal North in 1869, with the British offi¬ cially assuming control of Basutoland in March 1870. The British decision to annex Basutoland was motivated by two factors: the need for Basotho labor in the Kimberley diamond mines, and to block the Boers from gaining access to the Indian Ocean (see MIGRANT LABOR). One source of dispute for later generations was that Mo¬ shoeshoe requested British “protection,” yet Wodehouse declared Basutoland a British Colony (see TRANSFER QUESTION).


ANNEXATION OF 1871. In November 1871, the Cape Colony as¬ sumed jurisdiction of Basutoland, relieving the British colonial of¬ fice of direct fiscal responsibility. The terms of the annexation guaranteed some legislative distinction between Basutoland and the Cape. It discriminated between laws designed for the Cape Colony and for Basutoland, and required specific identification of Cape pol¬ icy intended for the annexed northern neighbor. See also ANNEX¬ ATION OF 1868; CAPE ADMINISTRATION; DISANNEXATION ACT; DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS.

ARBOUSSET, THOMAS (1810-1877). Thomas Arbousset arrived in Basutoland in 1833 with fellow minister Eugene Casalis and lay missionary Constant Gosselin. The first Christian missionaries among the Basotho, these three established Lesotho’s earliest mis¬ sion station at Morija under the auspices of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). The Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, en¬ dorsed and indeed welcomed the missionary presence. Over the de¬ cades, Arbousset explored the Basotho countryside, traveling north as early as 1836 to search for the source of the Orange River. Al¬ though unsuccessful, his published record of this trip, as well as a second journey made in 1840, provides important early European ob¬ servations. Moshoeshoe escorted Arbousset on the 1840 trip, guiding the PEMS reverend on the path he and his followers traveled during the lifaqane.

ARDEN-CLARKE, CHARLES NOBLE (1898-1962). Served as resident commissioner from 1942 to 1946. See COLONIAL AD¬ MINISTRATION; COLONIAL REFORMS.

ARMED FORCES. See SECURITY FORCES. ASSEGAI. A short stabbing spear probably invented by Shaka Zulu in the early 19th century, this weapon altered the face of warfare in southern Africa as it was more deadly than the previous long throw¬ ing spears used in combat. The Basotho probably acquired this weapon during the lifaqane.

AUSTEN, JOHN (7-1880). Austen served as the first district magis¬ trate of Cornet Spruit during the Cape Administration. The district



originally included Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing, but in 1877, Quthing split off as a separate district under a new magistrate. Prob¬ lems quickly surfaced between the new British official, Hamilton Hope, and the Baphuthi chief, Moorosi, leading to Hope’s replace¬ ment by Austen in 1878. As magistrate in Quthing, Austen arrested and sentenced Moorosi’s son, Doda, for stock theft, unleashing a se¬ ries of events that culminated in Moorosi’s Rebellion the following year. Austen died shortly thereafter, a casualty of the Gun War (1880-1881). The Batlokoa chief, Lelingoana, decapitated his corpse and offered the head to Basotho Paramount Chief Letsie I. See also DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS.

-BBAFOKENG. The Bafokeng migrated south of the Vaal River by a.d. 1500, forming small communities scattered east and south of the Limpopo and Vaal Rivers. They took the fokeng (hare) as their seboko (totem). With the Kgalagadi, the Bafokeng formed the two ear¬ liest Sotho-speaking groups in the Caledon River region. Although they founded all subsequent Basotho and Batswana lineages, they seemingly did not attempt to assert regional control, earning instead a genial reputation. Men from various descent lineages frequently sought marriage alliances with Bafokeng women. Kholu, the mother of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, was a Mofokeng.

BAKOENA. The Bakoena are a descent group of both Sesotho and Setswana speakers. They derive from the 17th-century Bakoena chief, Monaheng. The Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, belonged to the Mokoteli, a minor descent line of the Bakoena. The seboko (totem) of the royal house of Lesotho, and of all Bakoena, is the koena (croc¬ odile). See also MOKHACHANE; MOTLOANG; PEETE.

BAKUBUNG. The Bakubung are a descent group with the kubu (hip¬ popotamus) as their seboko (totem). In the early 19th century, the Bataung incorporated many Bakubung in a subordinate status, but they remained both socially and historically distinct. Their alternative name, Lihoja (Lihoja), honors a chief who presided during their merger with the Bataung.


BALFOUR, FRANCIS RICHARD TOWNLY (1846-1924). Edu¬ cated at Cambridge, his first assignment in the Bloemfontien Diocese was at Kimberley, before being transferred to Lesotho. After a year of working with Rev. John Widdicombe at Hlotse, he established a mission station at Sebuku at the request of Chief Joel Molapo in 1877. The mission started slowly and was destroyed in November 1880 during the Gun War. It was rebuilt in 1884 and a school was opened at that location in 1886. After this, Balfour served in Harrismith and Rhodesia before returning to Lesotho in 1894 to serve as the director of the mission. In 1906, he replaced the Rev. Widdicombe as the archdeacon of Lesotho and supervisor of the Hlotse mission. Although he was named assistant bishop of Bloemfontien in 1911, he remained in charge of the Church’s activities in Lesotho. In 1922 Balfour was replaced as the archdeacon of Lesotho and a year later he retired from his position as assistant bishop. Balfour is well re¬ membered for his many excursions on horseback throughout Le¬ sotho.

BANTSANE. See NTSANE. BAPHETLA. See MAPHETLA. BAPHUTHI. Originally from the Tugela River in Natal, the Baphuthi broke from the Nguni-speaking Amazizi in the 17th century to cross the Drakensberg Mountains. Intermingling with people of the Elands River region, they assimilated Basotho culture and chose the phuthi (duiker) as their seboko (totem). Subsequent 18th-century migration brought the Baphuthi first to the Caledon River valley and ultimately to Quthing. In 1825, the lifaqane forced the presiding Baphuthi chief, Mokuoane, to accept Basotho dominion. As whites settled the Basotho frontier, Mokuoane’s son, Moorosi, proved an invaluable ally in the fight against European encroachment. In this, Moorosi received political support for Baphuthi autonomy from Paris Evan¬

gelical Mission Society (PEMS) missionary Daniel Frederic Ellenberger. In 1879, following Moorosi’s Rebellion, the chiefdom depopu¬ lated as the Baphuthi dispersed. At the close of the 19th century, Ba¬ sotho Paramount Chief Lerotholi stripped Moorosi’s grandson,



Mocheko Moorosi, of any remaining power. Lerotholi replaced Mocheko with his son, Griffith Lerotholi, in 1899. This provoked an unsuccessful Baphuthi revolt. In 1902, a pitso formally divested the imprisoned Mocheko of the chieftaincy. In 1916, the authorities per¬ mitted Mocheko’s return to Quthing since a resurgent Baphuthi polit¬ ical identity no longer threatened. See also AUSTEN, JOHN; DODA; MAPHETLA; MAPOLANE; NGOANOMOKONE; SCHRUMPF, CHRISTIAN.

BAROA (SESOTHO NAME FOR SAN-SPEAKING PEOPLE). Centuries before the arrival of the Basotho, the Baroa occupied Le¬ sotho’s southern and eastern mountains. Cave paintings found in the

Maloti Mountains indicate that they inhabited the region thousands of years ago. As hunters and gatherers, the Baroa lived in small seminomadic groups with little need for strong political organization. Ba¬ sotho penetration appears to have led to tolerant relations between the two. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, some Baroa herded for Basotho patrons and the Baroa intermarried with their Basotho neighbors. Indeed, the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, married at least one Moroa. This amiability increasingly eroded over the 19th century as the Basotho, evicted from their homes by European colonization, occupied Baroa territory. In the 1880s, the frequency of Baroa raids on Basotho livestock provoked an eradication campaign led by the Batlokoa chief, Lelingoana. Historically, the distinction between Khoikhoi and Baroa/San has suffered, with Europeans typically calling the Baroa/San “Bush¬ men.” Early Europeans observed that the Khoi settled in communi¬ ties to the west of the mountains whereas nomadic, small groups of Baroa/San inhabited the mountains. Linguistic characteristics also varied between the two, but most Europeans could not speak African languages. Europeans therefore identified the Baroa/San by their short height and hunter-gatherer lifestyle, in opposition to the more pastoral existence and settled villages of the Khoi.

BAROLONG. The Barolong are a descent group named for the seboko (totem) ho rola (to forge). Early in the 19th century, the Setswanaspeaking Barolong comprised several Batswana chiefdoms north of the Vaal River. Unsettled by the events of the lifaqane, in 1834, one

12 • BAS IA

group of Barolong under Chief Moroka arrived in Basotho territory. Receiving permission from the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, they set¬ tled at Thaba ’Nchu accompanied by Wesleyan missionaries. Dis¬ putes between the Basotho and Barolong soon surfaced over territorial rights and political relations. Backed by the Wesleyans, Moroka claimed Barolong ownership of Thaba ’Nchu while Mo¬ shoeshoe considered the Barolong his tributary clients. In 1849, the British resident assigned to Trans-Orangia, Henry Douglas Warden, extended diplomatic recognition to the Barolong without Basotho consent, stimulating intermittent skirmishes between the two chiefdoms. These continued until 1886 when the Orange Free State (OFS) annexed Thaba ’Nchu during a Barolong succession dispute. The 1886 Free State usurpation dispossessed thousands of Barolong who then sought sanctuary in Basutoland. See also MOROKA, SAMUEL LEHULERE; WARDEN BOUNDARY.

BASIA. In the early 19th century, the Sesotho-speaking Basia closely aligned with the Batlokoa, strengthening cultural and political bonds through frequent intermarriage. The renowned Batlokoa queen re¬ gent, ’MaNthatisi, was a Mosia by birth. In ca. 1800, she married the Batlokoa chief, Mokotjo, assuming the chieftaincy at his death and ruling on behalf of her young son, Sekonyela. As queen regent of the Batlokoa, ’MaNthatisi continued relations with the Basia, con¬ ferring with Basia advisors and sending her son to be raised in her brother’s Basia household. See also WOMEN.

BASOTHO (sing. Mosotho). The name applied to the people of Leso¬ tho. In its prefixless form (“Sotho”), the term generally is an aca¬ demic designation for the linguistically related Basotho, Batswana, and Bapedi. Historically, however, the meaning has differed. “Sotho” has been in African usage for some time. Its function as a name identifying a specific cultural population seems clear, but the origins of the term are not known. It has been proposed that the word abashunto, a Nguni term mocking the knotted loincloths worn by Sotho males, accounts for the naming. During the 19th century, a combination of environmental, politi¬ cal, and demographic factors stimulated the consolidation of diverse African peoples into the Basotho nation. Most of the newcomers



spoke Sotho dialects, but various Nguni and Tswana speakers also arrived in the Caledon River region, assimilating both linguistically and culturally, with many retaining distinctive customs even to this day. In uniting many of the Sotho-speaking chieftainships, it is be¬ lieved that Moshoeshoe appealed to a common bond of “Basotho” as the justification for political alliances. Thus, Moshoeshoe trans¬ formed what had previously been a term of derision used by outsiders as the basis for state building. In 1843 the ruler of this emerging na¬ tion, Moshoeshoe, described the Basotho of the late 18th and early 19th centuries as several politically distinct but distantly related Sesotho-speaking communities inhabiting the area. In the early 19th century, Europeans used the term “Bechuana” to refer to all the Sotho-Tswana-speaking people of the interior. The first European usage of “Basotho” appears in an 1824 London Mis¬ sionary Society report, apparently in reference to the Bamonaheng, a Sesotho-speaking people independent of Moshoeshoe. Gradually “Sotho” speakers were recognized as a related but distinct group. “Basotho” quickly evolved in the 19th century, to distinguish spe¬ cifically those people considered subjects of Moshoeshoe. Although referred to by outsiders as “Basotho” during the 19th century, the term did not become the main ethnic identifier, or become synony¬ mous with Lesotho until the 20th century. Despite the fact that “Ba¬ sotho” is associated with Lesotho, there are more Sotho-speaking people referred to as Basotho in South Africa.

BASOTHO NATIONAL PARTY (BNP). The Basotho National Party was founded in 1959 by Leabua Jonathan, Gabriel Manyeli, Patrick ’Mota and others, who feared that the Basutoland African Congress (BAC) was hostile to whites, chiefs, and Catholics and that authori¬ tarianism and communism were sources of its militancy. An informal coalition of anti-BAC groups had been emerging that included the

Roman Catholic clergy and teachers, the Regent Paramount Chieftainess ’Mantsebo, elements of the chieftainship, and British colo¬ nial administrators. Expatriate Catholic clergy produced a newsletter called “Analyse du Mohlabani" that dissected the radical message of the BAC in highly unfavorable terms and heightened these shared concerns. Poliowing private discussions during their participation in a con-

14 •


ference at Cambridge University, Jonathan and Manyeli decided that a conservative alternative to the BAC was needed. Their initiative was strongly supported by Patrick Duncan, the editor of the South African Liberal Party journal, Contact, under whom Jonathan had worked when Duncan had been judicial commissioner in Basuto¬

land. Initially two groups emerged, namely, a Christian Democratic Party (CDP) and the Basotho National Party. However, Jonathan ar¬ gued successfully that a national party supporting the traditional way of life and basic Christian values would be more viable than a party explicitly identified with Catholicism. Although the regent para¬ mount chieftainess maintained outward neutrality, the fact that Chief Jonathan and her other three advisors supported the BNP provided the party with credibility and access to chiefs and headmen through¬ out the country. The manifesto of the National Party espoused anticolonial policies only slightly less militant than the Congress positions. After ac¬ knowledging “the sovereignty of Almighty God over all men and na¬ tions,” it called for an end to all forms of racial discrimination, requested Britain to renounce any intention of permitting the incor¬ poration of Basutoland in South Africa, advocated gradual African¬ ization of public and private employment, and urged rapid movement toward Basotho self-government. The party tried to avoid sounding like the handmaiden of the Catholic clergy and chiefs, but the com¬ position of its leadership documented the influence of both elements. The BNP also promised to lessen the disparity colonial rule had cre¬ ated between the senior chiefs and the lesser chiefs and headmen by training the latter to provide better community services and to facili¬ tate economic development. During the 1960 election campaign, the BNP benefited from the influence and assistance of its well-placed patrons in the chieftain¬ ship, Catholic Church, colonial administration, and South Africa. Ex¬ patriate Catholic clergy provided names of prospective party members, recruited Catholic teachers and catechists as BNP organiz¬ ers and electoral candidates, contributed funds, and printed BNP campaign materials at reduced cost. When chiefs and clergy railed against left-wing, antireligious, and communist-influenced leaders, there was no doubt that they meant Ntsu Mokhehie and his Basuto¬

land Congress Party (BCP).


The National Party appeared to suffer a crushing defeat at the polls as it won few district council seats and only one indirectly elected seat in the Basutoland National Council, and its top leaders, includ¬ ing Chief Jonathan, were defeated in their own constituencies. More¬ over, BNP access to the paramount chief ended abruptly when

Samuel Matete’s Marema-Tlou Party succeeded in having Moshoeshoe II installed in place of the Regent ’Mantsebo. Even the in¬ fluential Catholic patrons of the BNP believed that Chief Jonathan had suffered a mortal blow and began to work through ’Mesa-Mohloane, the anticommunist league that they created. For the next three years, the BNP lacked the funding or support to create the grassroots structure and membership necessary to do more than hold an annual conference and sponsor occasional local meetings. But more telling in the long run were how much progress the BNP had made since its founding and how small a portion of the electorate, including no women, had been enfranchised in 1960. The BNP recovery began when Paramount Chief Bereng Seeiso nominated Chief Jonathan to fill a vacancy in the National Council in an attempt to gain support for his agenda among the large bloc of National Party sympathizers within the nonelected segment of the National Council. Jonathan used this position and his subsequent membership on the Constitutional Commission to create a more mili¬ tant and populist image for the BNP. He criticized failures of the BCP-controlled district councils and the British colonial administra¬ tion, led protest marches of unemployed workers, and burnished the BNP image by calling on the United Nations to promote constitu¬ tional advance in Basutoland and to end white supremacist policies in South Africa. He shrewdly took the initiative in demanding full suffrage for women, a cause that Ntsu Mokhehle declined to embrace because of their alleged conservatism. Chief Jonathan resisted the temptation to enter opportunistic coalitions with the other parties that would dilute his party’s message. He sought and received funding and training for party organizers from conservatives in South Africa and West Germany. He welcomed ’Mesa-Mohloane organizers back into the BNP. The BNP gained a bare 40 percent plurality of the votes and scant two-seat majority in the National Assembly in the 1965 general elec¬ tion. The core of its message was what Chief Jonathan called “the


politics of the stomach,” namely that good relations with South Af¬ rica were essential to economic survival even if the BNP despised apartheid and the regime of Hendrik Yerwoerd. BNP politicians al¬ leged that the linkages of its rivals with Marxist states threatened the chieftainship and churches in Basutoland and would lead to disas¬ trous confrontations with South Africa. The BNP used the aid it re¬ ceived from South Africa, including training for party candidates and a very visible helicopter just before the election, as evidence that it could gain far greater concessions and benefits from South Africa once it captured power. However, the BNP national and district orga¬ nizations and its Youth League remained pale shadows of their BCP counterparts despite efforts to create credible institutions. BNP can¬ didates reported that they campaigned in their constituencies using face-to-face methods that reached people directly in their local com¬ munities and daily activities without alerting the overconfident BCP. Contrary to common images, many of them had considerable prior experience in political life, especially at the district level. The party also relied on the support of powerful local patrons, including many local chiefs and headmen and Roman Catholic clergy, teachers, and women’s groups, to mobilize its supporters. From the outset the new BNP government was in constant jeop¬ ardy. Sekhonyana ’Maseribane became interim prime minister be¬ cause Chief Jonathan had lost his seat and had to win a special election before he could assume office. The High Court ruled in favor of two BCP election petitions and vacated the outcome in two BNP seats that had to be won again in special elections. Only winning over a Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) member of parliament main¬ tained the BNP majority. Leo Matlabe, the unsuccessful BNP candi¬ date for Maseru, created what turned out to be a minor diversion when he split with the BNP and established the Lesotho Unity Party (LUP) because of disagreements about the relative power of chiefs and commoners in the Cabinet. The BCP joined with Moshoeshoe II to oppose the granting of independence under a BNP government without majority support. Failing in that endeavor, their continuation of this struggle to oust the BNP after independence created a con¬ frontation in December 1966, known as the Thaba Bosiu Affair, when police clashed with demonstrators, resulting in several deaths. The government prevailed in this test of wills against Moshoeshoe II


and the BCP. Nevertheless, a constant barrage of parliamentary, legal and agitational maneuvers to force the government from power cre¬ ated a siege mentality within the Cabinet and BNP parliamentary del¬ egation, where the opposition was perceived to be subversive, irresponsible and unfit to govern. Constant pressure from the opposition tempted Chief Jonathan to venture beyond absolutely necessary economic linkages with South Africa and to use loaned South African civil servants to strengthen his government’s hand in key departments like justice, information, planning, police and the electoral office. Having inherited virtually no plans or structures to promote economic development from the colonial administration, the BNP government was unable to deliver the substantive improvements in living conditions necessary to sus¬ tain its popular base and be reelected in 1970. Although foreign aid and technical assistance permitted an unprecedented burst of infra¬ structure development, agricultural projects, and other economic ini¬ tiatives, these were too localized to have much impact, especially with the opposition highlighting every flaw. The political costs of too-visible white South African involvement in the stock theft unit and in the fledgling National Development Corporation proved too great. When results of the 1970 election showed that Ntsu Mokhehle’s BCP had won a substantial majority, BNP hardliners like Chiefs Majara, ’Maseribane and Peete, supported by the expatriate leadership of the paramilitary Police Mobile Unit, persuaded Chief Jonathan to refuse to surrender power. Jonathan’s decisive unconstitutional ac¬ tions in temporarily jailing leaders of the victorious BCP and exiling Moshoeshoe II gave him a decisive advantage over his opponents. Moreover, the BNP government was composed of experienced politi¬ cians who provided continuity and acted like incumbents, not novice coup makers. It could continue to use the state, the only dynamic economic force and source of most employment in Lesotho, to re¬ ward its supporters and punish its enemies. From 1970 until Justin

Lekhanya’s military coup of 1986, Chief Jonathan ruled Lesotho in the name of the BNP. In the absence of democratic elections, how¬ ever, the character of the party and its policies were gradually trans¬ formed, often in unexpected directions. A party that had espoused democracy and criticized the authoritar-


ian tendencies in its opponents ruled without a popular mandate and used the paramilitary police, later transformed into an army, to ruth¬ lessly crush dissent, especially in 1970 and during the abortive coup attempt of 1974. This trend was accentuated after 1979 when Mokhehle’s Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) created a continuing low-level insurgency. Although party and government retained a pre¬ dominantly Catholic flavor, power within the party was increasingly shared by tough-minded chiefs and top civil servants coopted into the Cabinet. These embraced pragmatic strategies that put Lesotho’s national interests first and diverged from the ideological emphasis previously promoted by Catholic clergy and teachers. Several linked elements characterized the changed orientation of the BNP government after 1970. Chief Jonathan adopted his oppo¬ nents’ strident line toward South Africa since his own collaborative approach had proven very unpopular. The BNP leadership deliber¬ ately triggered South African ire by developing relations with com¬ munist states, providing sanctuary to African National Congress (ANC) insurgents and seeking United Nations (UN) support when South Africa imposed economic and military sanctions on Lesotho. The increased flow of external assistance to this beleaguered African state, encapsulated within the apartheid regime, provided the govern¬ ment with greater resources and strengthened its grasp on power. Do¬ mestically, its attempts to re-create political legitimacy were never wholly successful because managed participation rather than true democratic choice was the objective. Nevertheless, elements of the BCP and MFP were coopted to participate in an appointed Interim

National Assembly in order to have some voice and the emoluments of office. The BNP mollified senior chiefs formerly associated with the MFP by leaving rural administration and justice in the hands of chiefs amenable to the government and by permitting Moshoeshoe II to return from a relatively brief exile. The civil service and military were increasingly politicized, creating problems of nepotism and di¬ minished competence, but permitting aspiring professionals to rise within the ruling elite. Overall, unconstitutional rule by the BNP looked remarkably similar to the former colonial administration where executive fiat and token popular participation had prevailed. With the BNP virtually indistinguishable from the state, its sur¬ vival became dependent on police and military instruments rather


than popular support and grassroots organizational strength. Many conservative Roman Catholics had become seriously disillusioned by the growing linkages of the BNP government with communist states. Others were alarmed by the growing mutual hostility with South Af¬ rica. One such group of BNP dissidents formed the short-lived Dem¬ ocratic Alliance Party led by C. D. Molapo, the longtime BNP secretary-general and former foreign minister. Reinforcing this ero¬ sion of the BNP base, the Roman Catholic hierarchy had become thoroughly localized, was less willing to give unquestioning support to the BNP and was more inclined to join in ecumenical efforts to promote political reconciliation. By 1985 pressures from aid donors and these growing tensions within the BNP prompted Jonathan to regain democratic legitimacy at the ballot box. However, onerous conditions, virtually impossible for opposition parties and candidates to meet, led to a comprehensive boycott of the election. As a result all the BNP candidates were de¬ clared elected unopposed. The absurd nature of this noncontest clearly undermined the authority of the BNP government and set the country on the slippery slope toward the military coup of 1986. A second precipitating factor was the emergence of the BNP Youth League as an undisciplined coercive element challenging the author¬ ity of both Chief Jonathan and the military. When Jonathan’s leader¬ ship became less assured, militant young Cabinet ministers like Vincent Makhele and Desmond Sixishe battled old guard chiefs for control of the party and its policies. Makhele and Sixishe attempted unsuccessfully to oust military officers deemed to be supporters of the king. Their mission to North Korea that resulted in the acquisition of new weapons and training for the Youth League heightened anxie¬ ties within the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and also helped to trigger the military coup. Like all political parties, BNP activities were curtailed until 1991 by the Suspension of Political Activities Order. When the party was reconstituted, Retselisitsoe Sekhonyana became BNP leader with Justin Lekhanya serving as his deputy. Sekhonyana’s selection was controversial and alienated some party members due to allegations of corruption against him and his reputation as a political opportun¬ ist. As the man who had ousted the former BNP government, Lekha¬ nya’s role was even more suspect. While the BNP finished second in


the 1993 election, it won only 22 percent of the vote, mostly among its core Catholic and rural constituencies, and no seats in the Na¬ tional Assembly. Using segments of the army still friendly to the BNP, Sekhonyana played a major role in instigating the subsequent mutiny and royal coup and became foreign minister during the brief life of that short-lived government. In 1995 Sekhonyana’s leadership of the BNP was challenged when Chief Peete Peete, a longtime party stalwart and Cabinet minister, created the National Progressive Party (NPP) as an alternative to the BNP that would be more faithful to Chief Jonathan’s legacy. Like most splinter parties in Lesotho, it failed to capture any significant popular support, gaining only onehalf of a percent of the vote nationwide while contesting only 27 con¬ stituencies. In the 1998 election the BNP gained almost 25 percent of the vote, but only one seat in the National Assembly, despite coming quite close in several other constituencies. Once again Sekhonyana was at the heart of the opposition groups that challenged the election, en¬ couraged military mutiny, and mobilized demonstrations that created anarchy and promoted military intervention by Botswana and South Africa. The BNP became a core member of the Setlamo Alli¬

ance in the Interim Political Authority with Bereng Sekhonyana serving as cochair following his brother’s death. Predictably, Peete’s splinter NPP sided with the alternative Khokanyana Phiri coalition. What policies or strategies now distinguished the BNP from its rivals became wholly blurred as the party joined the BCP and MFP in unre¬ lenting opposition to the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government. While the memory of Leabua Jonathan persisted, Sek¬ honyana’s political opportunism and quest for power remained a pale shadow of Jonathan’s deft leadership. Under Metsing Lekhanya, the BNP has stoutly defended Lesotho Defence Force soldiers whose mutiny led to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention as national heroes resisting foreign forces that were aiding the traitorous LCD govern¬ ment. However, his efforts to mobilize nationalist sentiments had not rendered the BNP immune from the sort of factionalism that has plagued all the major parties. Dissident elements led by Thesele ’Maseribane, former head of the BNP Youth and son of the former in¬ terim prime minister, vied for physical and legal control of the BNP


Centre. Efforts to arbitrate by Catholic Archbishop Mohlalisi failed to resolve the conflict. BNP Secretary-General Majara Molapo also criticized Lekhanya’s leadership and the resulting atrophy of the party organization and membership. No formal split occurred, but the BNP was poorly positioned to win the 2002 election. Despite these liabilities, the BNP contested all 80 constituency seats and finished second with 22.4 percent of the party vote used to allocate the 40 new proportional seats. Unlike 1998, this made the BNP the major parliamentary opposition, with 21 seats in the Na¬ tional Assembly, even though it won none of the constituency seats. The BNP percentage of the electorate remained roughly the same as in 1993 and 1998 as the party retained its core of support among Catholic voters, lesser chiefs, and rural citizens.

BASOTHO PONY. Although there are several different accounts per¬ taining to how and when the Basotho first acquired horses, it is clear that by the 1840s, they had not only mastered the use of horses, but had also begun to breed them. The Basotho pony developed both as a result of the natural conditions of Lesotho and from selective breed¬ ing. The physical conditions of Lesotho included severe winter weather and a rocky terrain. During the second half of the 19th cen¬ tury, the Basotho imported Arabian stallions to breed with the horses already in their possession. The Basotho preferred smaller and more agile horses, which could navigate the steep slopes of the country¬ side. For this reason, the Basotho castrated the larger colts, allowing the smaller horses to breed. By the latter part of the century, the char¬ acteristics of the Basotho pony were well established; in addition to being small and sure-footed, they were known for their ability to “tri¬ ple” instead of running. The British made heavy use of the ponies during the Anglo-Boer War, severely depleting their numbers. In 1906, the British tried to replenish the number of horses in Basuto¬ land by introducing new stock; however, the Basotho complained that the ponies would lose their desirable qualities if they mixed with other breeds. The remaining Basotho ponies were once again called into action during World War I. Although there have been efforts to revive the traits which made these horses popular, the Basotho pony probably ceased to exist by the 1920s. Although the current horses of Lesotho are often small in stature and are still trained to “triple,”



they are not the “Basotho ponies” that were made famous during the prior century,

BASTARDS (BASTAARDS). Descended from Khoi, imported slaves, and mixed-race individuals, the Bastards escaped legal and de facto slavery in the Cape Colony during the mid- to late 18th century. They fled northward toward the Orange River, settling the eastern Cape in border communities increasingly raided by Afrikaans-speaking whites by the 1770s. Losing in particular their children to slavery, the Bastards left these settlements to roam the frontier, incorporating European fugitives and invading Khoi and Setswana-speaking com¬ munities located on the banks of the Orange River. The Bastards seized cattle and slaves to trade for rifles and ammunition, generally inflicting mayhem and earning a reputation for lawlessness. By the early part of the 19th century, some communities of Bastards re¬ jected this notoriety, choosing instead to Christianize and establish permanent residences. Adopting the name Griqua, in 1833 several communities of Christianized Bastards/Griquas moved with Wes¬ leyan missionaries to settle at Lesooane in territory claimed by the

Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. In 1869, another significant population of Griquas migrated from Platberg to Bokhate to live under Basotho jurisdiction.

BASUTOLAND. Official name used by British for Lesotho during the period of Cape and British rule. It remained the official name for the colony until it received independence in 1966, when it became the Kingdom of Lesotho. Although this was the colonial name for the territory, the Basotho continued to refer to their land as Lesotho. The “Le” prefix before the root word “sotho” indicates that it is the land of the Sotho, and thus the name “Lesotho” is grammatically correct in the Sesotho language whereas “Basutoland” is a European con¬ struction. The use of the term Lesotho (spelled Lessouto) by the early missionaries of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society indicates that the term was being used to describe the territory by the 1830s.

BASUTOLAND AFRICAN CONGRESS (BAC). Founded in 1952 by Ntsu Mokhehle, Nchocho Ntsekhe, Gani Surtee, Donald Cindi, Charles Chakela, and others, the Basutoland African Congress was


the first organization to solicit and gain significant mass support in Lesotho. With Mokhehle as leader and Ntsekhe as secretary-general, the B AC swiftly emerged as a political force that caught the imagina¬ tion of a broad cross section of Basotho. Poorly planned British initi¬ ated reforms, the victory of Dr. Daniel Malan’s apartheid ideology in South Africa, the experiences of 25,000 Basotho soldiers returned from World War II, and bitter succession crises within the Basotho monarchy set the stage for a challenge to the colonial order. The ar¬ ticulation of professional grievances by the Basutoland African Na¬ tional Teachers’ Association (BANTA) provided the vehicle leading to the emergence of more overtly political movements and messages. Not by accident, Mokhehle was also elected president of BANTA in 1952. The genesis of the BAC was also closely related to postwar changes in the climate of black South African political activity. Ba¬ sotho workers in South African urban centers became involved in the African National Congress (ANC) and other dissident political move¬ ments. Mokhehle developed working relationships with ANC Youth League leaders like Anton Lembede, Robert Sobukwe, and Nelson Mandela, whereas important linkages were established during the 1940s between ANC activists and other future Basotho politicians, including Samuel Matete and Seth Makotoko. Generational con¬ flict, ideological differences, and tactical disagreements within the ANC permeated the BAC. Many ANC activists seemed ambivalent about the emergence of an organization in Basutoland that might di¬ vert energies from protest activities in South Africa. Membership and participation in both the BAC and ANC were supposedly compatible, but efforts to organize BAC branches among Basotho workers in South Africa created friction and resentment. An “Africanist” orien¬ tation emerged in the BAC that seemed more appropriate to an ethni¬ cally homogeneous, rural labor reserve. The ANC concept, embodied in the Freedom Charter, of a multiracial congress alliance of Africans with Indian, Coloured, and white radical groups seemed less ger¬ mane to Mokhehle and his colleagues, especially given the perceived ANC indifference to the BAC. Although the threat of incorporation in South Africa inhibited de¬ mands for complete elimination of colonial rule, the Basutoland Afri¬ can Congress advocated a broad nationalist assault on colonial


policies, rapid constitutional advance, and an end to the prevailing color bar, including all dimensions of racial discrimination (see TRANSFER QUESTION). Utilizing popular suspicions of British intentions and strong, residual respect for the institution of chieftain¬ ship, the BAC transcended its roots among the “new elite” of teach¬ ers and townspeople and skillfully mobilized broad national support. Even enemies like Chief Leabua Jonathan agreed that the BAC had replaced the monarch and the Basutoland National Council as the most dynamic force in articulating national goals and grievances. The focal issue in the BAC assault on colonial policies became the Report of Sir Henry Moore’s Administrative Reforms Commission published in 1954. The report was criticized as an unimaginative doc¬ ument that wholly disregarded Basotho demands for a reformed Na¬ tional Council with legislative powers. The founding in 1954 of Mohlabani (The Warrior) by B. M. Khaketla, Ntsu Mokhehle, and others provided the BAC with an agitational nucleus for its cam¬ paign. Tire dismissal of Mokhehle and Khaketla from their teaching posi¬ tions at Basutoland High School for allegedly making libelous and seditious statements solidified Mohlabani's role as the legitimate voice of national aspirations. It also transformed Ntsu Mokhehle from a weekend political speaker into a full-time political profes¬ sional organizing grassroots support throughout the countryside. By creating national heroes, the colonial authorities inadvertently aug¬ mented resistance to the Moore Report in the National Council, lead¬ ing to its rejection by this conservative body dominated by chiefs. The subsequent British decision to permit the National Council to formulate proposals for constitutional innovation tacitly acknowl¬ edged the broad popular support mobilized through the persuasive BAC campaign. What seems noteworthy about these events was the ability of the rudimentary BAC organization to activate political in¬ stitutions dominated by traditional interests and to override British reluctance to permit constitutional development that might compli¬ cate imperial relationships with South Africa. Moreover, these ac¬ complishments occurred without recourse to the aggressive strategies of boycotts, strikes, and civil disobedience typically required to cre¬ ate popular awareness and solidarity. The ascendancy of the BAC triggered initially ineffective reactions


from other interest groups. Some chiefs feared the erosion of thenpower. Leaders of the Basutoland Progressive Association felt that political agitation could undermine legitimate authority. Expatriate Catholic clergy were alarmed by the secular thrust of the BAC, re¬ flected in its links to the ANC and preference for state-controlled rather than mission-based education. Nevertheless, BAC support for a popularly elected legislature remained unequivocal. Its leaders echoed the Lekhotla la Bafo contention that colonialism had trans¬ formed chiefs into agents of alien rule and that restoration of a chief¬ tainship based on popular consent was essential to the survival of that institution. BAC leaders also questioned whether an education sys¬ tem dominated by expatriate missionaries was in the best interests of the Basotho nation. They supported Basotho Roman Catholic teach¬ ers fired by school managers and criticized the use of expatriate brothers and sisters rather than qualified lay teachers in the class¬ room. Undoubtedly, campaign rhetoric criticizing chiefs and certain Catholic clergy at BAC meetings was more vituperative. The result was the politicizing of both religious and class differences as the BAC was increasingly perceived as being led and supported by Prot¬ estants and commoners. Conservative Catholics and chiefs developed exaggerated fears of communist influence within the BAC because of Mokhehle’s fascina¬ tion with Kwame Nkrumah and the Ghanaian Convention Peoples’ Party. Mokhehle participated in the All-African Peoples’ Conference at Accra in December 1958 and was elected to its steering committee. Close Congress association with pan-Africanism also became evi¬ dent within the southern African context as the Pan African Congress leader Robert Sobukwe gained influence in the BAC, gave an impas¬ sioned speech at its annual conference in 1957 and published articles in Mohlabani. The escalating political rhetoric and growing faction¬ alism within Basotho politics would only be accentuated as the BAC transformed itself into the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) to contest the 1960 elections. The BAC name reappeared unexpectedly shortly before the 2002 election. After losing the right to use the BCP name in a court case, the BCP faction led by Molapo Qhobela assumed the original name for the Congress of which he had been a member.



BASUTOLAND CONGRESS PARTY (BCP). The Basutoland Afri¬ can Congress (BAC) was transformed into the Basutoland Congress Party in December 1958 to contest the 1960 elections in which dis¬ trict councils were to be elected and to serve as electoral colleges for a portion of the Basutoland National Council. Its Sesotho name, Lekhotla la Mahatammoho, can be translated as the council or assem¬ bly of those who walk together. Despite their head start in the politi¬ cal fray, Ntsu Mokhehle and his BCP would not gain power until 1993 following a tempestuous and conflict-ridden history. By 1998 the party would split, so that at present it has become a fragmented opposition party. The apparent electoral landslide for the BCP in 1960 turned out to be a pyrrhic victory at best. To be sure, it was better organized than its newly constituted political rivals, but BCP strength was concen¬ trated in towns and among Basotho migrants in South Africa. Party organization was rudimentary in the rural hinterland and dominated by Mokhehle and the central party leadership. However, the electoral system permitted the BCP to parlay a plurality of the votes into con¬ trol of six of nine district councils and 32 of the 40 elected seats in the new National Council. Ntsu Mokhehle was hailed as Basuto¬ land’s “man of destiny,” who would at some point in the future bring a Congress government to power. Instead of leading the new Executive Council, Mokhehle became leader of the opposition when a coalition of ex officio principal and ward chiefs, nominees of the paramount chief, British official repre¬ sentatives and minor parties gained control of the National Council. The BCP wound up with responsibility but few resources for admin¬ istering many local programs such as soil conservation, grazing con¬ trol, water supply, sanitation, road maintenance, social welfare services, and sundry development schemes. Ironically, the pan-Afri¬ canist and town-oriented Congress Party found itself deeply em¬ broiled in the intractable problems affecting Basotho farmers and chiefs. Political opponents were able to portray the BCP as unsuc¬ cessful incumbents responsible for unpopular regulations and pro¬ grams.



Believing that the BCP had conclusively proven its superiority in attracting mass support, Mokhehle failed to maintain the earlier Con¬ gress pattern of coalition building. His authoritarian style of leader¬ ship caused many capable and experienced politicians to defect to other parties. He underestimated the economic and political power of opposing chiefs, missionaries, politicians, and British colonial au¬ thorities and determined to bludgeon them into submission. The hoped-for counterweight to South African hostility would be BCP solidarity with pan-Africanist movements throughout the continent. The militant, but cogent, analysis in Mohlabani was supplanted by a flood of anti-imperialist rhetoric in Makatolle and Makatolle Interna¬ tional, the new BCP papers. Other tactical decisions such as opposi¬ tion to the enfranchisement of women and acceptance of assistance from the People’s Republic of China proved equally controversial. These BCP strategies confirmed the worst fears of the opposing par¬ ties, chiefs, Roman Catholic Church, colonial administration, and South African government and led to its narrow defeat in the 1965 election. Like many militant African political parties seeking to build mass support, the BCP created a set of satellite organizations to reach Ba¬ sotho through multiple channels and provide some of the same sense of community characteristic of village life. Shakhane Mokhehle, the BCP leader’s younger brother, headed the party trade union affil¬ iate, the Basutoland Federation of Labor, and Gerard Ramoreboli, the deputy leader of the BCP, led the Lesotho African National Teachers’ Association (LANTA). The party had a Youth League, a Women’s League, and strong links to certain cooperative societies and football clubs. The central organizational problem was that party strength, like Ntsu Mokhehle’s Mercedes, was concentrated in towns and along the major roads. Virtually all of these party affiliates were composed of new urban-based elites reluctant to spend long periods in remote rural areas building the party base. Wherever one drove on roads, one encountered BCP supporters waving party flags, giving the thumbs-up party greeting and shouting militant slogans calling for return of land lost to South Africa.. But in a predominantly rural Basutoland, the conservative patrons of the Basotho National Party held sway and canvassed virtually unnoticed. Having failed at the polls, the BCP mounted an unrelenting effort



to oust Chief Leabua Jonathan’s precarious government and pre¬ vent it from leading Lesotho to independence. Despite court cases, by-elections, parliamentary maneuvers, and an opportunistic alliance with King Moshoeshoe II in support of his quest for stronger execu¬ tive powers, the BCP failed to dislodge the BNP government and un¬ derestimated Chief Jonathan’s political skills. Eventually the BCP recognized that its best opportunity was to topple him in the 1970 elections by rebuilding the party base in rural areas. It also relent¬ lessly criticized Jonathan for letting the South African unit policing stock theft operate in Lesotho, for using loaned South African per¬ sonnel in key administrative and judicial positions and for failing to improve the living conditions of most Basotho. While the BNP Cabi¬ net and parliamentarians remained in Maseru conducting the affairs of state, BCP cadres remedied past organizational failings by cam¬ paigning constantly in the mountain areas that were previously strongholds of the BNP. When the BCP won an overwhelming victory at the polls where it captured many rural seats previously held by the BNP, Ntsu Mokhehle and his colleagues waited to be summoned to form the new national government. Instead, they found themselves detained as the incumbent BNP government used its security forces decisively against all opposition. Subsequently, the BCP leadership called on their followers to refrain from violence as they tried to negotiate a government of national unity in which they would share power with Chief Jonathan. However, what little leverage they possessed was dissipated when Great Britain and other aid donors resumed normal transactions with the illegal BNP regime. In 1973 Chief Jonathan persuaded Gerald Ramoreboli, the long¬ time BCP deputy leader, to lead a BCP contingent into a nonelected interim National Assembly with the BNP and several minority par¬ ties on terms less favorable than Mokhehle sought. Frustrated by the defection of Ramoreboli’s group and by stringent new security legis¬ lation, Mokhehle loyalists finally resorted to force in the amateur¬ ishly planned and implemented the failed coup of 1974 that was swiftly crushed by the paramilitary police unity. The leadership of Mokhehle’s faction was either jailed or fled into exile in Botswana and Zambia, while Ramoreboli’s group gained control of all BCP assets and, in the short term, some Cabinet posts. A shadow BCP loyal to



Mokhehle survived within Lesotho. Led by Godfrey Kolisang and others who had been jailed, its views regularly appeared in Leselinyana. But for the next two decades, the BCP would be riven by dis¬ agreements, both in Lesotho and in exile, over how best to turn the tables on Chief Jonathan and the subsequent military regime. Typical of exile politics, the BCP leadership divided over the ad¬ ministration of funds donated by various organizations that support refugees. Even more controversial were the allocation of scholarships to study abroad and resources to train BCP militants in guerrilla war¬ fare tactics in countries like Libya. Most divisive of all was Mokhehle’s decision to launch the Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) to overthrow Jonathan’s government in covert cooperation with the apartheid regime of South Africa. Evidence later presented to the South Africa Truth Commission and in the Lesotho press raised seri¬ ous questions about whether Mokhehle had worked with the notori¬ ous Vlakplaas covert operations group and lived for a time on their base after he had been expelled from Botswana and Zambia. Recrim¬ ination about Mokhehle’s leadership and past failings also contrib¬ uted to a split when Koenyama Chakela, Tseliso Makhakhe, and Pelesana Mofelehetsi attempted to wrest control of the BCP execu¬ tive committee from Mokhehle. During much of the 1980s, the military operations of the LLA seemed to have supplanted BCP political activities as Mokhehle re¬ mained largely out of sight. The sporadic attacks and the assassina¬ tion of leaders like Cabinet Minister Jobo Rampeta heightened pressure on Chief Jonathan’s BNP government to reach some accom¬ modation with its adversaries. However, they were primarily an irri¬ tant factor for it and the successor military regime. Nevertheless, the desire to end these attacks together with pressure from aid donors to restore constitutional rule led Justin Lekhanya to conclude an am¬ nesty agreement with the BCP that permitted Mokhehle and exiles to return to Lesotho in February 1989. Although willing to accept the constitutional discussions held by the Constituent Assembly, BCP leaders strongly favored restoring the 1966 Independence Constitution and proceeding swiftly to na¬ tional elections. Relying heavily on Ntsu Mokhehle’s charisma, they campaigned as the party that had initiated the struggle for indepen¬ dence and had been wrongfully denied the leadership role legiti-



mately won at the polls. Although they promised to remedy the deficiencies of the authoritarian past, their manifesto echoed the or¬ thodox neoliberal model and lacked the threatening edge of the past. As a result, they won 75 percent of the vote and all of the 65 parlia¬ mentary constituencies. The totality of the BCP victory temporarily masked deep divisions within the party. Before the election Ramoreboli, Khasu, and Chaolana, longtime BCP partisans, had ended a short-term intraparty truce when they bolted to form the Hareeng Basotho Party due to their dissatisfaction about the composition of the newly chosen National Executive Committee. The absence of opposition in Parliament ob¬ viated the need for party unity and permitted the luxury of factional¬ ism within the BCP. It also permitted certain members to vent their spleen for past wrongs committed by opposition parties, the military and monarchy, contributing in part to military mutinies and Letsie

Ill’s failed coup. Instead of addressing key policy issues and prob¬ lems, the BCP became preoccupied and immobilized by a growing cleavage between two factions known as Maporesha (The Pressure Group) and Majelathoko (Those Who Eat Apart). The few initia¬ tives taken, like local distribution of the Lesotho Highlands Revenue Fund, provided political patronage to BCP supporters rather than in¬ troducing a new paradigm for local government and development projects. Intense factional competition ensued to gain control of the BCP grassroots organization and National Executive Committee (NEC) and the support of BCP parliamentarians. These conflicts took on a zero-sum character when opposing elements ousted their opponents completely from the NEC and were then in turn ousted themselves at successive party conferences. Both sides constantly sought remedies in the courts and then found it difficult to live with the findings that sought to prevent the judiciary from being compromised by these wholly political matters. There were no ideological or policy differ¬ ences at the heart of these interactions, but a battle for succession to the aged and increasingly infirm party leader, Ntsu Mokhehle. Maje¬ lathoko supporters frequently characterized the Maporesha as intel¬ lectuals and newcomers to the party who had jumped on the BCP bandwagon in 1993. However, the Maporesha faction included Mo-

lapo Qhobela, who had represented the BCP in London since the


1960s; Godfrey Kolisang, who had been secretary-general during the 1965 election; and Tseliso Makhakhe, who had been a leader of the anti-Mokhehle faction in exile in Botswana. Shakhane Mokhehle, the prime minister’s controversial brother, was a target of the Maporesha because of his hardly veiled ambition to succeed him. The conflict escalated in May 1966 when Ntsu Mokhehle ousted four prominent Maporesha leaders from the Cabinet, prompting two others to resign in protest. It intensified further as Mokhehle was hos¬ pitalized for several weeks in critical condition shortly after calling on the party faithful to ostracize his former colleagues. The inevita¬ ble split occurred in June 1997 when the Maporesha who controlled the party apparatus seemed poised to oust Mokhehle as BCP leader. Mokhehle used the support of the Majelathoko majority within Par¬ liament to form the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and remain in power. The Maporesha faction led by Molapo Qhobela re¬ tained control of the BCP. The BCP joined with its erstwhile enemies, the BNP and Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to oust the LCD government, arguing that Mokhehle had led an un¬ constitutional coup against the popularly elected BCP. They were also unsuccessful in preventing the LCD from using the same party colors, as a High Court decision in their favor was overturned on ap¬ peal. Confident that their strength among civil servants in Maseru re¬ flected broad national support and heartened by the addition of earlier BCP dissidents from the Hareeng Basotho Party, the BCP ex¬ pected to do well in the 1998 election. Shocked by the outcome where they received about 10 percent of the vote and won no seats in Parliament, they joined the opposition coalition that brought the LCD government to a halt and triggered external intervention. Thereafter the BCP became a key player in the Setlamo Alliance of opposition elements in the Interim Political Authority (IPA). Marginalization at the ballot box and the devastation following ex¬ ternal intervention did not facilitate solidarity, but new divisions within the BCP. A faction led by the aged and frequently indisposed Molapo Qhobela struggled to control the party against a faction known as the “six pack” led by Tseliso Makhakhe. Representation of the party in the IPA vacillated back and forth depending on which faction was temporarily ascendant. Dr. Khauhelo Raditapole, a for-



mer BCP Cabinet minister who was initially cochair of the IPA, was replaced, reinstated and replaced again. Again these issues were fought out in a series of High Court cases that eventually left Makhakhe’s six pack faction in control. At the 2001 annual conference, the factions came to blows with each claiming to control the party executive and the old party office building. When one element had it torn down for redevelopment, the other had it reconstructed and rededicated. A further split occurred in early 2002 when loss of a court case compelled the Qhobela faction to form a new party using the original colonial name of the BCP, namely the Basutoland African Con¬ gress. Its agenda included giving the king greater discretion over dis¬ solving parliament, calling new elections and controlling the armed forces to prevent misuse by politicians. In the 2002 election, the BAC contested 73 constituencies and the BCP 60, but their candidates were annihilated by the LCD, winning not a single seat. For the BAC, Raditapole finished fourth in her constituency and party leader Qho¬ bela received just 4 percent of the vote in his, losing his deposit. Tseliso Makhakhe’s performance for the BCP was equally dismal. The BAC and BCP each received less than 3 percent of the party prefer¬ ence vote and each received three seats in the National Assembly through proportional representation seats, ensuring a voice for their leaders. Ntsukunyane Mphanya, a political veteran of the 1960s who had been active in the LLA, assumed leadership of the BCP in Janu¬ ary 2003 despite not being a member of Parliament.



BASUTOLAND MOUNTED POLICE. See SECURITY FORCES. BASUTOLAND NATIONAL COUNCIL. Attempting to facilitate a smoother return of British colonial rule in 1884 after the Gun War, Resident Commissioner Sir Marshal Clarke recommended the es¬ tablishment of a Council of Chiefs. Clarke hoped the Council of Chiefs would replace the national pitso as the public voice of the Ba-






sotho. Over the next 20 years, the colonial authorities continued to promote this idea. However, it was not until 1902 that the chiefs dropped their opposition to the establishment of a National Council. The first meeting of the Basutoland National Council was held on 6 July 1903. The Council met again in 1905 and became an annual occurrence beginning with the third session in 1908. It was not until Proclamation No. 7 of 1910 that the National Council received statu¬ tory recognition from the British government. Proclamation No. 7 also established that the council would meet on a yearly basis and formalized the composition of the National Council at 100 members. The paramount chief (who was a member) nominated 94 individuals (usually chiefs) for approval by the resident commissioner, who was also the president of the council. The remaining five seats were ap¬ pointed by the resident commissioner; these individuals tended to be educated and affiliated with the Paris Evangelical Mission Society

(PEMS). Although appointing the 94 seats was technically the para¬ mount’s decision, the principal chiefs of Basutoland were always nominated and the remaining spots tended to go to prominent de¬ scendants of Moshoeshoe. Although the Basotho chiefs and the colonial administration agreed on the establishment of the National Council, they had differ¬ ent ideas regarding its authority. Morena e Moholo Lerotholi Letsie wanted a council with the power to enact legislation. However, resis¬ tance from chiefs such as Jonathan Molapo and the Resident Com¬ missioner Sir Herbert Sloley prevented this from happening. Thus, as constituted the National Council served only as an advisory body regarding domestic affairs. As it was envisioned in 1910, the Na¬ tional Council would discuss issues pertaining to the appropriation of tax revenues, voicing Basotho grievances and opinions, settling local disputes, and conferring with the colonial administration on matters of custom and local affairs. The issues that dominated that first session were the colony’s revenue and expenditures, the transfer

question, and the writing down of “customary” law. Twenty-four chiefs were selected for this task, and after three days the committee presented 21 laws. The whole council then discussed these “cus¬ toms” and produced 18 laws, known as the Laws of Lerotholi. Resi¬ dent Commissioner Sloley was quick to point out that these were


“customary” laws and that neither these “laws” nor the Council had any legislative authority. The 1909 session was dominated by the discussion of Basuto¬ land’s future status and its pending incorporation into the Union of South Africa. During this session, it was the general feeling of the council members that until South Africa treated Africans fairly, the Basotho would resist incorporation (this position was reiterated in 1910 and again in 1913). Over the next 40 years, the National Coun¬ cil repeatedly voiced its objections to incorporation into South Af¬ rica. In 1919, the National Council took a stronger stance, stating that under no circumstances would the Basotho accept incorporation. During the 1937 and 1949 sessions, the question of incorporation would once again take center stage. During the 1913 session, after three years of discussions, provi¬ sions were made for the Botsebelo Leper Asylum. Between 1913 and 1919, the issue of Moshoeshoe’s Day and the condition of Thaba Bosiu were raised several times. Other issues that came before the Council during its first two decades included eradication of burrweed, the enforcement of sheep dipping, how to control fighting be¬ tween chiefs, what caused and what could be done to prevent faction fights or riots at the mines (see MIGRANT LABOR), and capital punishment. Over the course of its existence, the National Council was called upon several times to solve succession disputes. The Na¬ tional Council often found itself discussing matters of Basotho cus¬ tom. In doing so, they almost always turned to Moshoeshoe’s action and era for guidance. However, as they moved further away from the 19th century, the chiefs of the National Council found it increasingly difficult to know exactly what the custom was during Moshoeshoe’s era. The National Council still believed it was responsible for protect¬ ing Basotho customs and traditions, and in 1954 after several heated speeches, the Council voiced its rejection of the resident commis¬ sioner’s suggestion that Lesotho switch to the written version of Sesotho used in South Africa (see ORTHOGRAPHY LANGUAGE). The status of Lesotho as either a British protectorate or colony and whether the National Council should have legislative authority were inextricably bound together. From its very inception, whether the Council would merely be advisory or have legislative powers was a matter of contention between the Basotho chiefs and the British colo-


nial administration. Between 1929 and 1951, the members of the Na¬ tional Council repeatedly asked for clarification of their status, arguing that they were a protectorate and not a colony, and as such should have legislative powers. The 37th session of the National Council in 1943 was dominated by the members’ response to Judge Lansdown’s ruling that the Laws of Lerotholi were “custom” and should not be considered law. Judge Lansdown’s ruling once again prompted the members of the National Council to push for legislative ability. During the 43rd session of the National Council in 1947, the question of Basutoland’s status as either a protectorate or a colony was renewed with heightened vigor. For their part, the Basotho looked to Moshoeshoe’s 1862 letter asking for protection as defini¬ tion of their status, whereas the British looked to Wodehouse’s proc¬ lamation of annexation in 1868. If Basutoland were a protectorate as Moshoeshoe requested, the laws of Basotho and the motions passed by the National Council should have legal authority, yet, as a subject colony of the British, only the colonial power would have legislative powers. Thus, the British government rejected the Basotho’s asser¬ tion that they were a protectorate and consequently denied them leg¬ islative powers. However, in the 1950s the colonial government began to grant the National Council increasing legislative powers. The National Council also served as a forum in which internal po¬ litical and economic issues were debated. Frustrated by what they saw as a growing abuse of power by the chiefs, during the 1920s members of the educated elite of the Basutoland Progressive Asso¬

ciation (BPA) and Lekhotla la Bafo raised the issue of reforming the chieftainship. The debate culminated in 1926 with the unsuccessful proposal that the Council be equally composed of chiefs and com¬ moners. However, the complaints of abuses by the chiefs did not end and it was not until 1950 that the National Council conceded to the demands of the BPA and abolished the traditional practice of matsema. The status and performance of the chiefs’ courts were a frequent subject during Council sessions. The courts’ shortcomings were prevalent during the 1918, 1924, and 1925 sessions of the Council. In the following years of 1926, 1927, and 1929 the resident commis¬ sioner unsuccessfully brought draft proclamations of court reforms before the Council. Beginning in the late 1930s, the members of the


Council spent a considerable amount of their time discussing pro¬ posed colonial reforms. From 1939 to 1941, the chiefs used the meet¬ ings to debate or complain about the impact of the 1938 Native Proclamation. From 1942 to 1946, debate over the establishment of the National Treasury took center stage. In the early 1940s, Basotho commoners renewed their attempts to make the National Council more representative. Although the major¬ ity of chiefs believed that the National Council should be composed solely of chiefs, organizations that represented divergent components of Basotho society complained that the people were not being con¬ sulted about matters brought before the Council. During the 1943 session, in an effort to make the National Council more representa¬ tive, the Council established nine district councils that would serve as advisory/consultative bodies. The district councils were designed to give the people a greater voice in local and national affairs. The majority of those who served on the district councils were elected by a popular vote at a pitso, nominating one member for every 1,000 taxpayers in the district. The remaining members of the district coun¬ cils consisted of chiefs from their respective districts nominated to National Council by the paramount chief and the district commis¬ sioner who served as president of the council. The district councils varied in size from 13 to 49 members. Beginning in 1945, the district councils met annually before the opening of the National Council to discuss the issues that would be raised at the National Council. This provided the people with some control over the membership of the National Council as each district council nominated one of its mem¬ bers to the National Council whose appointment was confirmed by the paramount chief. In 1948 and again in 1950, the number of elected representatives from each of the district councils was in¬ creased first to two and eventually to four. In addition to increasing local representation, groups such as the Agricultural Association, Basutoland Progressive Association, the Teachers’ Association, the Association of Basotho ex-servicemen, and Basotho Traders’ Association were given one seat each in the National Council. By the beginning of the 1950s, 42 out of the 100 members of the National Council were elected either by popular vote or as a representative of a special interest group. Because many of the Council members returned home after each session concluded, it



was decided that a standing committee of five members would be cre¬ ated to advise the resident commissioner and paramount when the Council was out of session. Furthermore, it was agreed upon that the Council should nominate 18 of its members, of which the paramount would select three to serve as advisors (later raised to four). In 1950, Proclamation No. 9 granted the National Council in¬ creased powers as it was given the statutory right to approve any rule passed by the paramount chief prior to its presentation before the high commissioner. By the 1950s, the National Council had been transformed from a body almost exclusively composed of chiefs seeking to maintain the status quo to a representative body leading the way toward reforms and independence. In 1958, the National Council accepted a Report on Constitutional Reform and Chieftain¬ ship Affairs that was accepted by the British government with only minor modifications as the basis for a new constitution implemented in 1960. Half of the new legislature consisted of principal chiefs, of¬ ficial British members, and appointees of the paramount chief, and half consisted of representatives selected indirectly by district coun¬ cils elected by Basotho voters. Since only taxpayers were qualified to vote, most women were excluded from the process. The new Na¬ tional Council was empowered to select four executive councilors who would administer the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Local Government, and Works. The elected district councils assumed control of certain important, but unpopular, local government func¬ tions, such as erosion and grazing control. See also COLONIAL RE¬ FORMS; CONSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION.

BASUTOLAND PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION (BPA) (KOPANO EA TSOELE-PELE). The core membership primarily con¬ sisted of teachers, evangelists, writers, traders, and clerical workers in the colonial service. As such, they represented a new middle class and were sometimes referred to as the bahlalefi, meaning the “edu¬ cated ones.” Although several teachers held formal meetings as early as 1904, the BPA as an organization dedicated to reform was not formed until 28 November 1907. Founded by Rev. Cranmer ’Matsa Sebeta, Abraham Moletsane, Simon Phamotse, Azariele Sekese, Solomon Noone, A. S. Tlale, Thomas Mofolo, and others, the BPA tended to be mission educated (at Paris Evangelical Mission Soci-


ety schools). The members of the BPA believed that they were better qualified than the chiefs to develop the progressive reforms they felt Basutoland needed. The group’s stated objectives in its 1908 mani¬ festo included promoting the economic and political progress of the nation and its citizens through agriculture, small business, educa¬ tion, and political reform (which included greater participation and curbing abuses of chiefs). The members also sought to strengthen ties with Great Britain and occasionally referred to themselves as “Black Englishmen.” This does not mean that the members of the BPA wished to become Brit¬ ish citizens, but rather that British assistance was necessary for Leso¬ tho to modernize. In particular, they believed that the technology of the West and aspects of the British political system were needed to help the people of Basutoland advance. Although the BPA looked to the British, they did not abandon the traditional political structures of the Basotho. In principle, the BPA supported the institutions of the monarchy and the chieftainship. In addition to the educated elite, the BPA drew supporters from commoners frustrated with the chief¬ tainship as well as in portions of Quthing, where the Baphuthi still resented Griffith Lerotholi’s placement over them. There were also some minor chiefs who joined the organization. In spite of their support for the institution of the chieftainship, the BPA was frustrated with the behavior of the chiefs themselves. In 1916, tensions flared between the chiefs and the BPA as members used the press to call attention to acts of rampant corruption and abuses in the chiefs’ courts. In response to the inflammatory nature of these articles, the resident commissioner issued a Press Regula¬ tion in 1917, which specified the penalties for seditious libel. The membership of the BPA reached its height with nearly 1,000 mem¬ bers in the early 1920s after its confrontation with Morena e Moholo Griffith Lerotholi and its crusade against the abuse of matsema labor by the chiefs. This crusade culminated in a 1922 BPA-organized demonstration at Morija. Griffith invited the members of the BPA to present their complaints to him, personally hoping to humiliate its members; instead, the attacks on the BPA backfired and made the crowd sympathetic to Phamotse and the BPA. One consequence of this confrontation was that the chiefs restricted the association’s ac¬ tivities to the camp towns. Throughout its existence, the BPA



switched back and forth between cooperation and direct confronta¬ tion with the chieftainship. For a brief period (1923-1924), four members of the BPA served at the Royal Court at Matsieng. The BPA’s stance against racial discrimination and its fear of in¬ corporation into South Africa were one of the forces behind the en¬ trenchment of the Basutoland National Council as an advisory body in 1910. The association played an important role in many of the prominent debates in the Basutoland National Council during the colonial period. During the 1913 session of the National Council, the BPA proposed that March 12 be known as Moshoeshoe’s Day to commemorate the protection granted by Queen Victoria in 1868. The group’s influence is illustrated by the fact that in 1914 it was awarded a permanent seat on the National Council. At first, the BPA elected representatives from which the resident commissioner nominated one to the National Council. Eventually, the association was able to nom¬ inate its members directly into the Council. The BPA continually sought ways to modernize the leadership and government of Lesotho. It believed that education would provide Le¬ sotho with the leaders that it would need in the future. During the second decade of the 20th century, the BPA called upon the resident commissioner to provide 100 scholarships to send promising Baso¬ tho students to study in England. The scholarships did not materialize as Resident Commissioner Herbert Sloley denied their request. In 1921 the group proposed to Prince Arthur during his visit that be¬ yond the 24 principal chiefs, members of the National Council should be elected directly by the Basotho people. During the 1930s the BPA was the driving force behind proposed changes to the composition of the National Council. In the following decade, the association’s proposals were accepted and the first elected members joined the Council. In 1947, the BPA proposed that the National Council should be transformed into the Basutoland Parliament, which would be ves¬ ted with legislative powers. Although this proposal failed in 1947, the political parties and the chieftainship picked it up again in the 1950s. Even though the BPA was the first political organization composed of and created by commoners, its membership was confined to a small number of educated Basotho who resided in the camp towns. Outside of the towns, the BPA had almost no name recognition. Al-


though the group’s membership remained small, its ideas were often disseminated through the newspaper, Mochochonono. Onetime edi¬ tor of the paper Labane Chokobane also served as the BPA’s repre¬ sentative in the National Council. Later members of the group included the well-known Basotho author Z. D. Mangoaela. Some of the prominent members of the BPA who served in the National Coun¬ cil were Simon Phamotse (1912-1928), Abimael Tlale (1928— 1934), and Z. D Mangoaela (1935-1960). Presidents included Rev. Cranmer Sebeta (1907-1912), Abraham Moletsane (1914-1920), Z. D. Mangoaela (1921-1924, 1935-), Simon Phamotse (1928), and Abimael Tlale. As the new political parties emerged in the 1950s, the BPA quickly faded into the background. In 1960, BPA candidates failed to win any seats in the national election, effectively ending the association. Some of the membership switched to the Marema-Tlou Party.

BATAUNG. Originally a powerful chiefdom linked with the Barolong, the Bataung form a descent group associated with the tau (lion) seboko (totem). In the 1820s, a group of Bataung refugees under Mole¬

tsane fled the Amandebele. Heading south from their base between the Vaal and Sand Rivers, by 1838 they sought sanctuary in Basotho territory. The Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, gave the Bataung permis¬ sion to settle west of the Caledon River at Mekoatleng. During the

Orange River Sovereignty, Moletsane unsuccessfully requested British permission to return with his followers north of the Vaal River. Fighting between the Orange Free State (OFS) and the Baso¬ tho in the 1860s pushed the Bataung to safer ground east of the Caledon River. Following the Convention of Aliwal North, the Ba¬ sotho lost Mekoatleng to the OFS, and the Bataung settled at Siloe and Maboloka. See also DAUMAS, FRANCOIS.

BATHEPU. The isiXhosa-speaking Bathepu live in the southern part of Lesotho along the Mjanyane River. Composed of mostly Amathembu and Amampondo lineages, they cut off the tips of inductees’ ring fingers during initiation. The branch currently living in Quthing stems from Bafokeng and Bakoena ancestors who migrated east across the Drakensberg Mountains in the early to mid-17th century. They settled in the Fish River region where the Amathembu absorbed




them. Following a sojourn of several generations, in 1848 the Bathepu returned to inhabit the Mjanyane valley under the jurisdic¬ tion of the Baphuthi chief, Moorosi.

BATLOKOA. The Sesotho-speaking Batlokoa form a descent group that, at the turn of the 19th century, occupied territory north of pres¬ ent-day Lesotho near its border with Natal. Propelled by the events of the lifaqane, in 1822 the Batlokoa and several incorporated Amahlubi members migrated west under the leadership of their Queen Regent, ’MaNthatisi. Faced with scarcity and famine, they raided for cattle and grain, settling in the mid- to late 1820s west of the Caledon River. ’MaNthatisi’s son, Sekonyela, assumed leader¬ ship within a few years. Vying for regional control, Sekonyela plagued neighboring Basotho communities and stimulated the 1824 migration of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, to Thaba Bosiu. Hos¬ tilities between the Batlokoa and Basotho continued over the dec¬ ades, fueled by British colonial policies to undermine the increasing power of Moshoeshoe. In 1853, Sekonyela fled with his adherents to the Cape Colony following a Basotho victory at Marabeng. Nearly three decades later, Sekonyela’s grandson, Lelingoana, allied with rebellious Basotho factions during the Gun War (1880-1881). Le¬ lingoana’s support brought the Batlokoa sanctuary in the Maloti Mountains. See also AUSTEN, JOHN; LETS IE I; WOMEN.

BEERSHEBA. A mission station under Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) control, Beersheba attracted Sesotho and Setswanaspeaking refugees loyal to the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. Founded by Samuel Rolland in 1853, the station originally stood in Basotho territory. Its surrounding land attracted both Griqua and European settlement, however, and this unleashed ownership disputes. During the Orange River Sovereignty, the British sought resolution by de¬ marcating the Warden Boundary (1849). This border agreement fa¬ vored white farmers at the expense of thousands of Basotho removed from settlements lying outside the new line. In 1849, Beersheba re¬ mained attached to Moshoeshoe’s domain by a narrow corridor, but in 1858 the Orange Free State (OFS) invaded Basutoland. This prompted the mission’s eventual demise. Beersheba decreased to a


6,000-acre reserve within the Free State, and subsequent land alien¬ ation caused it to close by 1868. See also ALIWAL NORTH, CON¬ VENTION OF; ALIWAL NORTH, TREATY OF; SENEKAL’S WAR; SEQITI WAR.

BELL, CHARLES HARLAND (ca. 1825-1881). The first British magistrate assigned to Leribe district, Major Bell fought and died during the Gun War (1880-1881). He defended the principal colo¬ nial camp at Hlotse, erecting a surveillance tower named for him. Bell’s son, C. G. H. Bell, temporarily replaced his father as magis¬ trate following the major’s death. See also ANNEXATION OF 1868; ANNEXATION OF



BERENG, DAVID CRANMER THEKO (1900-1974). The son of Bereng Letsie and grandson of Letsie I, he was born in Rothe and raised in Qacha’s Nek under the supervision of chief Theko Makhaola. He attended school at Morija, and later went on to study at Lovedale. His 1931 collection of poetry, Lithothokiso tsa Moshoeshoe le tse ling (Poems about Moshoeshoe and Other Poems), was the first published collection of original poems written in southern Sesotho. Although the material was new, most of the poems in this vol¬ ume were written in the traditional style of Sesotho praise poetry. Although he never published another collection of poetry and only a few of his poems sporadically appeared in various journals over the years, he remains one of the most influential Basotho poets of the 20th century. He later served as a member of the Basutoland Na¬

tional Council and as a sergeant during World War II. BERENG GRIFFITH (1902-1948). Perhaps one of the most contro¬ versial chiefs in Lesotho’s history, Bereng Griffith was the only child of Paramount Chief Griffith Lerotholi’s fourth house. Educated in

Roma and later in South Africa, Bereng was clearly his father’s fa¬ vorite. As early as 1917 Griffith expressed the fact that Bereng, not

Seeiso Griffith, would be his heir and successor. Griffith Lerotholi initiated this process when he placed Bereng as chief of Phamong in 1922, where Griffith himself had been chief prior to his ascension to



the throne. In 1926, Griffith officially declared that Bereng was his senior son and heir to the throne. Although Bereng was older, Seeiso, as the oldest son of the third house, was technically the heir accord¬ ing to Sesotho custom. Under pressure from Griffith, the Sons of

Moshoeshoe voted 23 to 10 in support of Bereng’s position as heir to the throne. Bereng was a strong chief who commanded considerable respect and proved to be a good administrator. However, upon his father’s death in 1939, his brother Seeiso challenged his claim to the throne. Reversing their decision, the Sons of Moshoeshoe supported Seeiso as the next paramount chief. After Seeiso’s death the follow¬ ing year, Bereng once again sought the throne, and was again re¬ buffed because the Sons of Moshoeshoe supported ’Mantsebo as acting regent for Constantinus Bereng Seeiso (Moshoeshoe II). In 1942, Bereng brought his case before the High Court on grounds that it violated Basotho custom; however. Justice Lansdown ruled in favor of ’Mantsebo. Bereng remained a prominent chief and was one of four principal chiefs selected to represent the Basotho at a pitso held for King George VI on March 12, 1947. In 1948, Bereng was convicted and executed along with Gabashane Masupha for allegedly participating in liretlo.

BERENG LETSIE (7-1898). Son of Letsie I and full brother of Grif¬ fith Lerotholi, Bereng was an outspoken and influential chief. Placed by his father as chief of Masite, his territory included portions of the Maseru and Mafeteng districts. Bereng Letsie’s territory also included cattle posts in the mountain regions of Qacha’s Nek and Thaba Tseka. Bereng was one of the first chiefs to utilize the Thaba Tseka for year-round occupation as he placed his brother and some followers in the region. Originally enlisted to help the Cape forces suppress Moorosi’s Rebellion, he changed his mind and later fought against the Cape forces during the Gun War (1880-1881). Bereng is remembered as a hero by the Basotho for his leadership and resis¬ tance against the Cape forces during the Gun War. After the war, he converted to the Anglican Church and Masite became the mission’s headquarters for the southern part of the country. Known for his short temper and dislike of Western clothing, Bereng is shown in photographs wearing traditional Basotho skins. See CLOTHING.


BERGENAARS (“MOUNTAINEERS”). A group of Griqua named for the mountainous region they occupied, the Bergenaars also took the names “Griquas” and “Hartenaars.” In 1821, this group of Griquas left Griquatown to escape trade limitations and other Cape Col¬ ony controls. Founding a new settlement on the Hart River, the Hartenaars soon moved more deeply into the interior to settle in the hills near present-day southwestern Lesotho. Under the leadership of A. Hendrick and Gert Goeyman, the Bergenaars invaded Sesotho and Setswana-speaking communities to supply white frontier farmers with cattle and slaves. The Bergenaars, as opposed to the Griqua of Griquatown, gave the name “Griqua” a negative connotation. See also BASTARDS; KORA.

BETHULIE. In 1833, the Reverend J.-P. Pellissier founded the mis¬ sion station of Bethulie under the auspices of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). Situated on an abandoned London Mis¬ sionary Society site, Bethulie catered to Basotho and Batswana refu¬ gees fleeing the effects of the lifaqane. Pellissier and the Hlapi chief, Lephoi, leader of the mission’s largest refugee population, consid¬ ered the station and its lands independent. Within a decade, however, the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, claimed the mission territory. As white newcomers settled the territory that surrounded Bethulie, Mo¬ shoeshoe countered claims of white ownership by including the mis¬ sion in various property directives and legal decisions. To complicate matters further, border agreements enacted during the Orange River

Sovereignty negated Moshoeshoe’s claims to the mission. In 1859, the Orange Free State (OFS) annexed Bethulie following Senekal’s War, with subsequent land alienation leading to the mission’s termination three years later.

BLANKETS. See CLOTHING. BOHALI. This is the Basotho custom where the groom’s family trans¬ fers cattle or other livestock to the bride’s family as part of the mar¬ riage agreement. In return for the transfer of a woman’s reproductive and productive abilities (childbearing and labor) from the bride’s family to the groom’s, the husband’s family is expected to compen¬ sate for their loss by providing a designated number of cattle (horses,



sheep, goats, and cash can be substituted). The amount of bohali given is influenced by the status of the woman’s family as well as her education. The most common misconception regarding this practice is that women are sold to their husbands. Bohali is not a sale, and traditionally it does not connote any sense of ownership. Instead, the practice serves a vital social function. Considering that the husband’s family rarely has all of the cattle at the time of the wedding, they will probably be transferring cattle for many years. If the woman bears no male children, or should leave her husband, her family would be required to return the bohali. If a woman were to leave her husband because of abuse, his family would lose the cattle. Thus, this institu¬ tion gives both families a stake in seeing that the marriage is success¬ ful. If cattle are not paid, the children born out of this marriage belong to the woman’s family and not the husband’s lineage. Since they arrived in Lesotho, the Paris Evangelical Mission Society has condemned this practice, but both the Catholic and Anglican Churches have been much more tolerant.

BONHOMME, JOSEPH CYPRIEN (1889-1973). Born at St. Ca mille, Quebec, Joseph Bonhomme worked as a laborer before joining the seminary in Ottawa, and he was consecrated as a bishop in 1933. As the second bishop appointed to Basutoland, he served there from 1933 to 1947. During his 14 years of service in Basutoland, Bonhom¬ me’s achievements were highlighted by expansion, reform, and social action. One of his first courses of action was to import five additional orders of sisters from Canada to help spread the faith. In 1940, he established a new order for Basotho brothers. He also oversaw the opening of numerous schools as well as hospitals in the mountains. Bonhomme was a strong advocate for the Basotho, challenging rac¬ ism both in the Roman Catholic Church and the colonial adminis¬ tration. In 1939, he launched “Catholic Action” to coordinate the activities of Catholic groups and to challenge unjust colonial poli¬ cies. In order to help Basotho farmers and merchants, Bonhomme organized and oversaw a number of cooperative associations. As early as 1934, he put forth the idea of establishing a college in Basutoland. After nearly a decade of persistence, his efforts were rewarded in 1945 with the establishment of the University College of Pius XII at Roma, the first institution of higher learning in the High


Commission Territories (HCT). His continual advocacy of Basotho rights would eventually get him in trouble. After a series of repeated criticisms of the administration, Bonhomme was expelled from Leso¬ tho in 1947.


BRUTSCH, ALBERT (1916-). Bom in Geneva, in 1942 he arrived in Basutoland as a missionary for the Paris Evangelical Mission Soci¬ ety (PEMS). His work has placed him in several parts of the country. Initially placed at Thaba Bosiu, he served at Cana from 1943 to 1949 before being transferred to Leribe in 1950. After three years in Leribe, Brutsch was again transferred, this time to Morija. Since the late 1950s, he served in executive positions in the mission and in the

Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC). At the behest of Basotho church leaders, after spending one year in Johannesburg in 1957, Rev. Brutsch returned to Basutoland to become the chairman of the Missionary Conference. Until 1964 he also acted as director of the Theological Seminary. In 1966, after a brief stint in Likhoele, Rev. Brutsch returned to a leadership position when he was named the first general secretary of the LEC. In addition to his other responsibilities, beginning in 1970 he spent 15 months at the Masitise Trade School. After this he returned to Morija and acted as pastor for the Maseru church. He retained this position until 1977 when he left to start three new churches at Qualing, Thamae, and Lithabaneng. In addition to his mission activities, Rev. Brutsch has served as church and national historian. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Morija Museum and Archives. The initial archive at Morija was established in 1956 as a result of the discovery of dino¬ saur remains in the region. The museum expanded to house many of Lesotho’s important historical documents. He played a vital role in the new museum and archive that opened in the early 1990s. As ar¬ chivist, Rev. Brutsch is also responsible for preserving much of Le¬ sotho’s history. He has published several articles on Lesotho’s history in Lesotho: Basutoland Notes and Records on topics ranging from the origins of the national anthem to the visit of Basotho chiefs to the Cape in 1845. Because he was respected by the Basotho for



his historical knowledge, both Paramount Chieftainess ’Mantsebo and the principal chiefs consulted him regarding historical and cul¬ tural matters, such as the installation of Moshoeshoe II in 1960. He is also an active member of the Lesotho Scientific Association and has contributed many scientific articles to Lesotho Basutoland Notes and Records. After the 1970 coup, the Basotho National Party gov¬ ernment felt he was nonpartisan enough to oversee the operations of the newspaper Leselinyana. Although still active in the church, Rev. Brutsch retired in 1981. He still lives in Morija and plays an important role in the LEC and the Morija Museum and Archives.

BURTON, MARIA S. B. (1837-1912). An Irish Anglican missionary and deaconess, Burton embarked for Maseru at the turn of the 20th century. Enlisted by the Anglican mission at Masite to teach the chil¬ dren of its Maseru outpost, Burton soon focused on the white Angli¬ can community’s inattention to Basotho converts. Chief among her reforms was a domestic training program for Basotho women. In 1906, Burton founded St. Catherine’s School and raised funds for the construction of St. James Church. See also BERENG LETS IE.

BUTHA-BUTHE. Located in northern Lesotho, Butha-Buthe is both a mountain and the district in which it lies. The district includes Menkhoaneng, the birthplace of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. Dur¬ ing the initial stages of the lifaqane, Moshoeshoe fortified his people on the mountain of Butha-Buthe where he and his followers defended themselves against attacks. Following repeated raids by the Ainangwane and Batlokoa, in 1824 the Basotho departed for Thaba Bosiu. In 1884, British colonial officials carved Butha-Buthe district from the district of Leribe. Moshoeshoe’s grandson, Joel Molapo, held the Butha-Buthe chieftainship during this process.

-CCAMP TOWNS. See DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS. CAPE ADMINISTRATION (1871-1884). In 1871, the Cape Colony assumed responsibility for Basutoland following budgetary con¬ straints arising in England. The Cape Colony reversed London’s pol-

48 • CARE

icy of ruling through the Basotho chiefs, instead seeking to erode chiefly authority. In 1871, the legislature passed laws designed to un¬ dermine traditional practices at a time when the Basotho did not have political representation. These laws included removal of chiefs’ juris¬ diction over widows as well as eliminating traditional control over land and its allocation. Many of the Cape measures in Basutoland derived from the suggestions of Emile Holland, a missionary with the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). In general, the PEMS hoped to stamp out Basotho customs long considered antithet¬ ical to Western, Christian values. In each of four administrative districts (Berea, Cornet Spruit, Leribe, and Thaba Bosiu). both a colonial magistrate and a Basotho chief exercised authority. Ostensibly retaining control of traditional affairs, the chiefs nonetheless found their authority damaged through a series of proclamations issuing from the Cape. For example, district magistrates wielded appellate power that weakened the chiefs’ courts. In 1879, the Cape Administration drafted Basotho aid in crushing

Moorosi’s Rebellion. The Basotho obliged under threat of losing land to white settlement in the district of Quthing. Yet, the following year the Cape penalized Basutoland for costs incurred repressing the rebellion. It doubled the hut tax, demanded a national payment of £125,000, and moved forward with land seizures in Quthing. In addi¬ tion, the Cape legislature launched measures to disarm the Basotho. The Basotho countered by taking up arms against the Cape during the Gun War. See also ANNEXATION OF 1868; ANNEXATION OF 1871; DISANNEXATION ACT; DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS; GRIFFITH, CHARLES DUNCAN; KHOTLA.

CARE. See NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS. CASALIS, JEAN EUGENE (1812-1891). Jean Eugene Casalis ar¬ rived in Basutoland in 1833 with fellow minister Thomas Arbousset and lay missionary Constant Gosselin. The first Christian missionaries among the Basotho, these three established Lesotho’s earliest mission station at Morija under the auspices of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). In 1837, Casalis moved to Thaba Bosiu to establish a second mission. His close proximity to



the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, engendered a personal friendship and advisory relationship. Remembered for his advocacy of Basotho interests, Casalis frequently counseled Moshoeshoe on political mat¬ ters and wrote numerous letters in negotiations with the Orange

River Sovereignty. Casalis published several important historical works, including a linguistic study titled Etudes sur la Langue Sechuana (1841), as well as Les Bassoutos (1859), one of the earliest European ethnographies from Africa. In 1854, he returned to the PEMS seminary in Paris as director. From France he wrote Mes Souvenirs, an autobiography recording, among other things, his life with the Basotho. In 1836, Casalis married a Scottish woman named Sarah Dyke. Two of the couple’s children lived in Basutoland as adults. Their daughter, Adele Casalis Mabille, married Adolphe Mabille, a wellknown PEMS missionary, and the couple’s son, Dr. Eugene Arnaud Casalis, practiced mission medicine in Basutoland from 1862 to 1891. Eugene also assumed the directorship of the Morija Normal School in 1875. J. Eugene Casalis’s second marriage produced two additional children remembered for their contributions to Basuto¬ land. These were Alfred Casalis, who served as missionary at Qalo in the late 1880s, and George Casalis, a British colonial medical of¬ ficer at Leribe from 1890 to 1895.

CATHCART, GEORGE (1794-1854). As British high commis¬ sioner and Cape Colony governor from 1852 to 1854, Cathcart over¬ saw the withdrawal of British forces from the Highveld during the Orange River Sovereignty. In 1848, the British governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Harry Smith, annexed by proclamation the area be¬ tween the Orange and Vaal Rivers. This included much of the Baso¬ tho domain. Following a Basotho victory against British Resident Henry Warden at Viervoet in 1851, the Cape Administration replaced the Cape Governor with Cathcart. The new governor and high com¬ missioner led a retaliatory foray into Basutoland following the re¬ fusal of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, to return livestock taken as war booty. In December 1852, Basotho and British forces met in bat¬ tle on the Berea plateau. Although the encounter inflicted losses on both sides, the superiority of British military power prompted Mos¬ hoeshoe to sue for peace. Appeased, Cathcart then recommended


British withdrawal from Trans-Orangia since the cost of maintaining regional stability seemed too high. The Crown abandoned the Sover¬ eignty in 1854, transferring responsibility to white settlers under the terms of the Bloemfontein Convention. See also ORANGE FREE STATE.

CATHOLICS. See ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. CATTLE. During the precolonial period, cattle played a central role in the Basotho economy and were the major preoccupation of men. Wealth was measured by the number of cattle that a man possessed, resulting in their being referred to as “banks with legs.” Cattle not only provided valuable milk, but could also be used to purchase grain during times of need. The Basotho tended to rely on other animals for meat, and only slaughtered cattle for special occasions or if the animal was injured. Cattle also play an important role in several Basotho cultural prac¬ tices. One such practice is known as bohali. As part of the formaliza¬ tion of marriage arrangements, the groom’s family transfers a number of cattle to the bride’s family. Another common practice amongst the Basotho is the lending of cattle, which is called mafisa. Under this arrangement, an individual lends cattle to a person who is less well off. In return for watching the cattle, the individual is enti¬ tled to the milk and a percentage of the offspring. Although cattle still play an important role in Basotho culture, they no longer have a prominent position in the economy. Nonetheless, many Basotho still invest in cattle and view ownership as a status symbol. One consequence of the Basotho’s love of cattle is that the nation has many more cattle than the land can sustain. The overgraz¬ ing caused by cattle has contributed to soil erosion and donga forma¬ tion. Lastly, many of Lesotho’s cattle are of poor stock and are in substandard condition.

CENEZ, JULES (1865-1944). First vicar apostolic of the Roman Catholic Church in Basutoland, he was bom in Metz and became a priest in 1889. Two years later, he arrived in Basutoland and served as assistant to Father Gerard at St. Monica’s. From 1893 to 1896, he was at Sion and in 1897 he was appointed as the third prefect apos-


1 tolic of Basutoland. In 1909 he became the first vicar apostolic of Basutoland. One of his most noted achievements was the admission of two new religious orders to work in Basutoland, the Marist Broth¬ ers at Roma College and the Sisters of Holy Cross Menzingen. In 1905, he submitted a letter to the Sargant commission on education that suggested that the government reduce literacy programs for girls. He resigned in 1930 and died in France on 2 March 1944.

CHAKELA, KOENYAMA STEPHEN (1935-1982). A dynamic and forceful speaker, Koenyama Chakela appeared to be favored by Ntsu Mokhehle as his likely successor, when Chakela became one of the youngest members elected to the 1965 Parliament. After passing his matriculation examination at Basutoland High School, Chakela be¬ came active in the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) while work¬ ing as a bookkeeper in Johannesburg. After serving as secretary of the very active BCP Transvaal organization, he was selected to be a BCP representative abroad, serving in Cairo from 1961 to 1964 and as delegate to various international organizations such as the AfroAsian Solidarity Movement and the UN. He was the author of a monograph, The Past and Present Lesotho, and founded a BCP jour¬ nal, Makatolle International. As an opposition parliamentarian, he was instrumental in efforts to thwart independence under Chief Jon¬

athan and in rallying BCP youth participation in King Moshoeshoe H’s abortive 1966 “prayer meeting” at Thaba Bosiu. Like many BCP politicians, Chakela was detained in 1970, despite losing his seat in the aborted election. He strongly supported the BCP 1974 failed coup of attempt and fled into exile in Botswana. There he became critical of Mokhehle’s leadership of the BCP and personal foibles, leading a rebellion against him in the BCP National Executive Committee that remained a source of division in BCP through the Maporesha/Majelathoko conflict in the 1990s. When his efforts failed to break Mokhehle’s control of the BCP and Lesotho

Liberation Army (LLA), Chakela accepted an amnesty offered to BCP exiles to return home, apparently in hopes of being given a Cab¬ inet post. When none of his colleagues in the dissident BCP Execu¬ tive followed him, Chakela’s credibility suffered a severe blow and he found himself politically isolated rather than the heir to BCP lead¬ ership. He was gunned down in July 1982, some say by the Basotho



National Party death squad, but more likely by LLA forces loyal to Mokhehle. See THABA BOSIU AFFAIR. CHAPLIN, ALLEN GEOFFREY TURNSTALL (1908-?). Resi¬ dent commissioner, 1956-1961. Because he was born in South Af¬ rica, many Basotho objected to his appointment. See also COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION. CHEVRIER, ODILION (1894-1973). A Roman Catholic mission¬ ary, he arrived in Basutoland in 1923 with the Rev. Gerard Martin, as the first Canadians to serve in Basutoland. He founded the Roma (Minor) Seminary in 1924 and in 1927 became secretary for Catholic schools, serving as representative of the bishop in educational mat¬ ters. Under his guidance more than a hundred new schools were opened, especially in the mountains. For six years he edited the teacher’s quarterly, Molisana. He orga¬ nized vocational courses at Roma College and initiated a local branch of the Natal Catholic African Organization. Soon after his ar¬ rival in 1923 Rev. Chevrier formed the Buyers and Sellers Associa¬ tion at his mission at Masitise to help promote the social and economic welfare of Basotho farmers through a cooperative. In 1931, he established a branch of the Catholic Economic Association, which was designed to promote economic development through agriculture as well as home industries. During his tenure in Basutoland, Rev. Chevrier founded six mission stations. He died in Canada. CHIEFTAINSHIP. The political structure of Sotho communities in southern Africa during the early 19th century centered on the Morena. The title Morena is usually translated as “chief”; however, its literal meaning is closer to “protector and provider.” The position was usually passed down from father to eldest son; however, it was not unprecedented that a more capable or popular son would inherit the position. As “protector and provider” the Morena was responsi¬ ble for organizing military expeditions, negotiating with other com¬ munities, providing judicial services with other senior male members of the community at the khotla, as well as moderating at the pitso. As provider, the Morena was expected to provide food in times of scarcity and provide food to visitors and to community work parties.





Although the Morena did not own the land, he was responsible for allocating it to individual households. In return for these services, the people were expected to spend a predetermined amount of time working in the fields of the Morena (see MATSEMA). A Morena was not bound to listen to popular sentiment or his councilors; however, he ignored them at his own risk. If the people felt that a Morena was cruel or incompetent, they could abandon him and place themselves under someone else. The two phrases “a chief is a chief by the people” and “voting with your feet” illustrate the relationship that the Basotho had with their leaders. Even the most powerful Morena did not have absolute powers, and this was evident as subordinate chiefs often defied Moshoeshoe. European missionar¬ ies translated the term Morena as “chief,” but in doing so they im¬ posed European notions of chieftainship on African leaders. Prior to Moshoeshoe’s rule, most Basotho chiefs recognized either their junior or senior status in relation to other chiefs. However, be¬ fore the mid-19th century, the Sesotho communities did not consider themselves to be “Basotho” and were not politically allied in any formal manner. Although there were minor chiefs or headmen who recognized the senior position of others, there was no institution or position akin to kingship. As Moshoeshoe offered protection and mafisa cattle to those fleeing the ravages of the lifaqane, the people of the area began to refer to him as Morena e Moholo (this translates as great protector or provider; the Europeans translated this as “king”) by the mid-1830s. Near the end of his life, Moshoeshoe sought to entrench his political achievements and preserve the unity of Lesotho by naming the eldest son of his first house, Letsie I, as his successor and designate Morena e Moholo. Moshoeshoe’s actions placed the institution of the kingship in the Basotho political land¬ scape. The position of the Morena e Moholo was not entrenched until the last decade of the 19th century. After resuming control in 1884, the British colonial authorities supported the institution of kingship be¬ cause a single leader simplified the administration of the colony. As there could only be one king in the British Empire, who resided in London, the British styled the Morena e Moholo as “paramount chief.” It was not until his 1898 victory over his defiant uncle Masopha, seven years after he assumed the position of paramount chief.



that Lerotholi’s position and the broader position of the paramount chiefIMorena e Moholo were solidified. Preservation of the political institutions created by Moshoeshoe played a central role in Basotho politics during the colonial period. Both the Basotho and the British sought to preserve the political position of paramount chiefIMorena e Moholo established by Moshoeshoe. Although the paramount chief was technically the supreme indigenous political and judicial author¬ ity in Basutoland, the majority of political power rested with the co¬ lonial authorities. In the precolonial era, competency played a mitigating role in the selection process. However, the Laws of Lerotholi codified the prac¬ tice that succession should go to the senior male son. Nonetheless, succession disputes lingered in Lesotho because chiefs occasionally selected favorites who were not always the senior son. In determining seniority, age is not the determining factor; the eldest son from the senior wife regardless of age is the senior son. If no son is from the first wife’s house, it goes to the second house and so on until a son is found. During the 20th century, there have been several succession disputes regarding the paramount. Because almost every succession has been challenged, the Sons of Moshoeshoe were often responsible for selecting the next paramount. Since the time of Moshoeshoe, the son assumes the chieftainship upon the death of his father, and settles at his grandfather’s village. Upon his father’s death, Letsie I remained near Morija, at Matsieng, where he had been placed by his father rather than returning to

Thaba Bosiu. The name Matsieng literally means the “place of Let¬ sie’s people.” When Lerotholi became paramount chief in 1891 he was unable to settle at his grandfather Moshoeshoe’s village because his uncle Masopha refused to give up residence on the mountain. Thus, Lerotholi built his new village at Makeneng, a few miles from his father’s village. Upon assuming the chieftainship, Letsie II built his village at Phahameng, near his grandfather’s first village. With his new village adjacent to his grandfather’s, the old village gradu¬ ally fell into disuse. When Griffith Lerotholi became paramount in 1913 he established his village below his grandfather’s village at Matsieng, and called his new capital Matsieng New Town to distin¬ guish it from Letsie’s settlement. During the reign of Griffith as para¬ mount chief, Matsieng became the headquarters of the Basotho



administration, offices were built there, and it was decided that Matsieng would become the permanent village of the paramount chief. As Lesotho neared independence in the early 1960s and installed Constantinus Bereng Seeiso as Moshoeshoe II, the role of Moshoeshoe progeny was debated. The new constitution deemed that Mos¬ hoeshoe II and his successors would be constitutional monarchs with limited powers. The title “paramount chief,” with all of its colonial connotations, was not an appropriate title for the king of an indepen¬ dent nation, nor was Morena e Moholo accurate for a constitutional ruler. Since independence, the title of the monarchs/kings of Lesotho has been Motlotlehi, which means “one worthy of praise.” Moshoeshoe also altered the institution of chieftainship when he “placed” his four eldest sons, Letsie I, Molapo, Masopha, and Majara, in addition to other senior relatives, as chief over regions under his control. Just as Moshoeshoe placed his sons as chiefs, later Bakoena chiefs would continue this practice and place their sons as chiefs. The continual placing of multiple sons as chiefs had two ef¬ fects: it led to an explosion in the number of chiefs, and it resulted in the entrenchment of a Koena ruling aristocracy as they were placed over chiefs from other clans. Based upon Moshoeshoe’s placing of senior Koena chiefs (his sons and brothers) and the recognition of the special privileges of a few non-Koena lineages, the 1922 revised Laws of Lerotholi listed 17 members of the royal family and the principal chiefs of the Bataung, Batlokoa, and Makhoakhoa as “principal chiefs.” In addition, there are two independent chieftainships in the district of Mohale’s Hoek that are treated the same as principal chiefs. The principal/ward chiefs have received automatic membership in both the National Council and the Senate. Since the early 20th century, the senior chiefs of Lesotho have styled themselves as the “Sons of Moshoeshoe.” However, not all of these senior chiefs are actually descendants of Moshoeshoe. During the 20th century, the Sons of Moshoeshoe have been called together to advise the colonial government on matters of custom or to settle disputes amongst the chieftainship. The Sons of Moshoeshoe were called upon to settle the succession disputes surrounding Griffith’s ascension to the throne as well as choosing a successor after his death (see BERENG GRIFFITH; SEEISO GRIFFITH).



Since Moshoeshoe, the Basotho political structure has developed a pyramidlike structure, with the Morena e Moholo/Motlotlehi on top, followed by subordinate ward/principal chiefs, chiefs, and headmen. Under this system, the paramount is the highest authority in the land, and below the paramount are the principal/ward chiefs whose author¬ ity within their ward is second only to the paramount. Within each district, under the principal/ward chief there are the minor chiefs and village headmen. Community Nation Ward

Head Paramount chief Principal/ward chief

Ward section/subsection Village

Chief Headman

The power of chiefs has been drastically altered since the time of Moshoeshoe. With national centralization, the Bakoena lineage ex¬ erted increasing authority over local chiefs. This trend was stemmed by the colonial reforms of 1938 and 1948, which significantly re¬ duced the power of chiefs. Since independence, the chieftainship has lost much of its political power to elected officials. During the 1990s, the elected government of Lesotho has debated whether chiefs should continue to play a meaningful role in local politics. As a result of this debate, the Basotho Congress Party government took the power of land allocation away from the chiefs and vested that power in the hands of local development councils. See COLONIAL ADMINIS¬ TRATION.

CHOBELISO. A traditionally accepted form of elopement or forced marriage in which a woman either voluntarily or involuntarily mar¬ ries a man without the payment of hohali. This practice often in¬ volves the man taking a woman away from the place of her birth. Men resort to this when they are unable or unwilling to consummate a proper marriage due to factors such as being unable to pay bohali, not being the chosen suitor, residence in South Africa, children born out of wedlock, or in instances of rape. After the chobeliso, the man and his family usually negotiate the payment of a lower brideprice to ensure their claim on the offspring of the union. Due to economic hardships and urban lifestyles, this practice has become more common.





CHOKOBANE, LABANE (1860-1949). A minor chief from Ha Ts’upane in the Mafeteng district, member of the Lesotho Evangeli¬ cal Church (LEC), and educated in South Africa, Labane is consid¬ ered one of the most progressive spokesmen of his era. Having acquired a great deal of knowledge about Basotho laws and customs during his youth, Labane Chokobane served as a councilor to Molapo Mojela (brother of Lerotholi Mojela). An eloquent speaker, he used his knowledge and influence in a number of ways. An ardent supporter and eventual member of the

Basutoland Progressive Association (BPA), in 1916 Labane unsuc¬ cessfully petitioned the Basutoland National Council that the asso¬ ciation be given more than one seat. The same year he also unsuccessfully proposed that 100 scholarships be provided from gov¬ ernment funds so that qualified Basotho youth could be sent to En¬ gland to complete their education. The following year, he brought it to the attention of the National Council that they had failed to make

Moshoeshoe’s Day a public holiday. Labane also encouraged the council to allocate funds to build a road to the top and plant trees as part of an effort to restore the historic plateau of Thaba Bosiu. A supporter of both the BPA and Lekhotla la Bafo, he continuously came to the defense of those who proposed change in the National Council. He was an active and important member of the National Council from its inception until the late 1940s. Through the 1920s, he stood by the BPA during their numerous run-ins with the chief¬

tainship. In the late 1930s, he was one of the most vocal supporters of the proposed legislative reforms and was one of the first members of the council to promote the idea of making the council a partly elective body. Labane was elected twice by the District Council of Mafeteng to serve as their representative in the National Council.

CHRISTELLER, CHARLES (1850-1945). Bom in France, he came to Lesotho as a missionary with the Paris Evangelical Mission Soci¬ ety (PEMS) in 1892. His first parish was at Qalo, and he later served in succession at Mafube, Maphutseng, and Morija. In 1927, he was named director of the theological school at Morija. He also held lead¬ ing positions in the church for serving as president of the Lesotho

Evangelical Church (LEC) Seboka and Missionary Conference.





CLARKE, MARSHAL JAMES (1841-1909). Served as magistrate of Quthing during period of Cape rule and later became first resident commissioner in 1884 following the Disannexation Act of 1884. He held that post for 10 years. He held the first national pitso at Korokoro in 1886. His policies marked a departure from harsh Cape laws, achieving stability through close affiliation with the heirs of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. This included supporting the paramountcy of Moshoeshoe’s heir, Letsie, and later, of Letsie’s son,

Lerotholi, as well as the distribution of key chiefdoms to family loy¬ alists. Clarke also was the first resident commissioner to propose some version of what would become the Basutoland National Council. See also ANNEXATION OF 1868; ANNEXATION OF 1871; CAPE ADMINISTRATION; COLONIAL ADMINISTRA¬ TION; COLONIAL REFORMS; DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS.

CLOTHING. In precolonial times, the Basotho made clothing out of animal skins. These skins were tanned and cut into different shapes, providing a variety of articles. The tseha was an article of clothing worn by men to cover their groin area and was made from the skins of sheep, calves, or wild antelope. The Basotho also manufactured several styles of cloaks and blankets that were wrapped around the body. The setipe, made from oxhide, was worn as a cloak. The kobo was also made from tanned ox skin and was wrapped around the upper half of the body. Only chiefs could wear clothing made from the skins of lions and leopards. Commoners made items of clothing from foxes and jackals. Women’s clothing consisted of several kinds of dresses, the most notable being the mose, which was made of ox skins and hung from the shoulders, reaching the knees in front and the shins in the back. During the second half of the 19th century, as a result of increased population pressure, the number of wild animals in Lesotho was drastically reduced. The rinderpest epidemic of 1896 further impinged upon the Basotho’s access to animal skins.


In conjunction with the scarcity of animal skins, the Basotho were encouraged to purchase manufactured clothing from European trad-, ers. At first, Basotho men purchased wool blankets at the Kimberley" diamond mines and brought them home. In 1877 Donald Fraser was the first European trader to sell blankets in Lesotho. The relatively low cost of purchasing cotton and wool items facilitated the transi¬ tion to manufactured clothing. Additionally, missionaries encouraged the Basotho to wear Western clothing to church. Manufactured blan¬ kets so thoroughly cornered the market that the Basotho called the blankets kobo after the ox-skin wrap they replaced. During the 20th century, there have been dozens of different wool blankets available in Lesotho. Some of the more popular brands and styles include the Lilala, Mohulu, Mophoso, Pitseng, Pitso, Sandrin¬ gham, Seanamorena, Sefate, Serope, and Victoria. The early manu¬ factured blankets were known as “skin” as they were designed to resemble the animal skins which the Basotho wore. Most blankets sold during the early 20th century were either predominantly white with black stripes or a plain gray. Soon the colorful “Austrian” blan¬ ket was designed for sale in southern Africa. In 1897 Frasers intro¬ duced the patterned “Victoria” blanket, setting the standard for Basotho blankets. Although the “Victoria” has remained one of the most prestigious and popular blankets, since the 1920s the Seana¬ morena (one who swears by the chiefs) blanket has been considered the most prestigious. A variant of the Victoria, the Seanamorena was originally produced for Charles Stevens’s store in Leribe. These blankets were only available in limited supply, and the Basotho would line up days in advance at Stevens’s store to buy one. The blankets have been widely distributed since 1974 when a riot ensued at Stevens’s store because there were not enough blankets for all those who were waiting in line. As the colored patterned blankets became more popular, they were generally referred to as lesolanka. Basotho blankets come in a variety of colors and patterns, ranging from spitfire airplanes to the Prince of Wales feathers. Other motifs, such as the com pattern (poone) and a chromatic pattern featuring an “ace,” are very popular. Blankets have often been used to commemorate important events such as the “Prince of Wales feathers” in honor of the Prince’s 1925 visit and the “badges of the brave” blanket that honored those Basotho who



served in World War II. Others include the Pitseng blanket with the mokorotlo hat and national crest for independence, and blankets with the papal crown for the pontiffs visit. Many of the blankets also have popular names such as the Sefate (tree), which supposedly is named after a tall European merchant in Leribe. Although there are many different patterns, most blanket patterns share some common fea¬ tures, such as the pattern is reproduced four times, each blanket has four stripes, and each blanket is 155 X 165 centimeters. European traders also introduced various styles of printed cotton cloth that women made into dresses. One style of fabric became so popular amongst Basotho women that they began to refer to it as Seshoeshoe (the clothes that the women of Moshoeshoe wear). Seshoeshoe has entrenched itself in Basotho culture, as women must have one to wear on special occasions and one is now often given to a new bride by her in-laws. During the 19th century, Basotho chiefs and warriors wore a head¬ dress made of ostrich feathers, which was called sekola. Over the years the Basotho have also crafted numerous styles of hats from dif¬ ferent kinds of grasses. The generic Sesotho word for hat is katiba; however, it also refers to a specific style of hat. The katiba is a flatbrimmed hat, which is made from loli, leshoma, or tooane grass. As this hat has a flat brim, it is likely that the Basotho did not start manu¬ facturing them until after they came into contact with Europeans. Be¬ fore the arrival of Europeans, the Basotho wore a conical hat made of grass known as khaebana. This hat was worn to protect the Baso¬ tho from the elements while working in the fields or herding animals, and had no ceremonial value. During the second decade of the 20th century, Lekopoatsana introduced a new conical hat, which was called thloro. These new conical hats became associated with the chieftainship as the chiefs wore these hats while hearing court cases. These hats also became associated with the men who wore them while riding to court. During their procession, the riders would often sing traditional battle songs known as mokorotlo, and as part of the performance, the riders would point their fingers toward the sky dur¬ ing portions of the song. Over time, the hats became associated with the song to the extent that they began to be referred to as mokorotlo. During the 1930s and 1940s the hats underwent a physical transfor¬ mation as new designs/styles featuring loops and swirls on the top


appeared. The grass used for the frame of these hats is called moseha and the outside shell and loops are constructed out of loli grass. Al¬ though hats were historically made by men and boys, women have been making them since the late 1940s. These designs have become known as mokorotlo or molianyeoe (which literally means “case closed” and is in reference to the habit of chiefs taking their hats off before rendering a decision in a dispute). During the late 1940s and 1950s, emphasis on craft production and the increasing popularity of the hats among the Basotho caused them to become synonymous with the Basotho. Since the 1940s, these hats along with wool blan¬ kets have been considered part of the national dress of Lesotho.

COILLARD, FRANCOIS (1834-1904). Trained by Jean Eugene Casalis at the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) semi¬ nary, Coillard arrived in Basutoland in 1858 to establish a ministry at Leribe. During his sojourn in Basutoland, he translated into Sesotho most of Lifela tsa Sione (The Hymns of Zion), a popular hymnal still in use today. In ca. 1885, Coillard moved among the Lozi on the Zambezi River to found the Barotseland Mission.

COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION. The ranking British official in southern Africa was the high commissioner. Within Lesotho, the res¬ ident commissioner was the senior official with subordinate district commissioners and other officers (medical, veterinary, agricultural, and so on). In response to increasing interaction and hostilities with the Afri¬ cans of the interior, in 1846 the British created the position of high commissioner to represent their interests in southern Africa. In 1847 General Sir H. E. Pottinger was appointed as the first high commis¬ sioner and as governor of the Cape Colony. From 1847 to 1900 (with the exception of 1879-1881), the office of high commissioner in¬ cluded the office of governor of the Cape Colony. After the Union of South Africa received independence in 1910, the position of high commissioner was held by the governor-general (the first to hold this dual position was Lord Gladstone). Vested with legislative authority over the territories, the position of general-governor was largely cere¬ monial in the Union and was often filled by a person of noble or royal birth. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognized the autonomy



of the Union of South Africa. Increasing complaints from Basuto¬ land and the other two High Commission Territories that the high commissioner should not also be the British representative to the Union resulted in the offices of high commissioner and governorgeneral being separated at the close of the Earl of Athlone’s tenure in 1930. In 1964, as the three High Commission Territories neared independence, the post of high commissioner was abandoned. The establishment of the High Commission Territories resulted in Basuto¬ land not being governed through the Colonial Office, but by the less experienced and more conservative Dominion’s Office. High Commissioners Maj.-Gen. Sir Henry Eldred Pottinger, Jan. 1847-Dec. 1847 Maj.-Gen. Sir Harry Smith, Dec. 1847-Mar. 1852 Lt.-Gen. the Hon. George Cathcart, Mar. 1852-May 1854 Sir George Grey, Dec. 1854-Aug. 1861 Sir Philip Wodehouse, Jan. 1862-May 1870 Sir Henry Barkly, Dec. 1870-Mar. 1877 Sir H. Bartle E. Frere, Mar. 1877-Sept. 1880 Sir Hercules Robinson, Jan. 1881-May 1889, May 1895-Apr. 1897 Sir Henry Loch, Dec. 1889-May 1895 Sir Alfred Milner, May 1897-Apr. 1905 Lord Selbourne, Apr. 1905-May 1910 Viscount Gladstone, May 1910-July 1914 Viscount Buxton, Sept. 1914-July 1920 Prince Arthur of Connaught, Nov. 1920-Dec. 1923 Earl of Athlone, Jan. 1924-Dec. 1930 Sir Herbert J. Stanley, Apr. 1931-Jan. 1935 Sir William H. Clark, Jan. 1935-Jan. 1940 Lord Harlech, May 1941-May 1944 Sir Walter Huggard, June 1944-Oct. 1944 Sir Evelyn Baring, Oct. 1944-Oct. 1951 Sir John le Rougetel, Oct. 1951-Feb. 1955 Sir Percivale Liesching, Mar. 1955-Dec. 1958 Sir John Maud, 1959-1963 Sir Hugh S. Stephenson, 1963-1964 After the British resumed direct control over Lesotho in 1884, the senior official in the colony was the resident commissioner. The resi-




dent commissioner reported to the high commissioner and the Colo¬ nial Office. The resident commissioner was responsible for the dayto-day administration over the colonial government as well as the posting and enforcement of official Gazettes. The resident commis¬ sioner also acted as the treasurer. The resident commissioners served as the chairmen of the Basutoland National Council and maintained an important working relationship with the paramount chief. Resident Commissioners Sir Marshall Clarke, 1884-1893 Sir Godfrey Lagden, 1893-1902 Sir Herbert Sloley, 1902-1916 Sir Robert Coryndon, 1916-1917 Lt. Col. Sir Edward Garraway, 1917-1926 Sir John C. R. Sturrock, 1926-1935 Sir Edmund C. Richards, 1935-1942 Lt. Col. Sir Charles Arden-Clarke, 1942-1946 Lt. Col. Sir A. D. Forsyth Thompson, 1946-1952 Mr. E. R Arrowsmith, 1952-1956 Mr. A. G. Chaplin, 1956-1962 Sir Alexander F. Giles, 1962-1966 A deputy resident commissioner whose responsibilities included the judicial work of the Colonial Court assisted the resident commis¬ sioner. After 1927, this position was merged with that of the govern¬ ment secretary who was responsible for all official publications, including the Annual Reports and the Minutes of the National Coun¬ cil. The colonial government’s representative in each district was the district/assistant commissioner, who worked directly with the princi¬ pal or ward chiefs. Local issues (petitions, complaints, and letters) were supposed to go through the district office before reaching the resident commissioner. The district commissioner was responsible for the collection of taxes and all criminal and civil cases except mur¬ der and culpable homicide, which were handled by the resident com¬ missioner.

COLONIAL REFORMS. During the period of Cape rule (1871 — 1884), the colonial administration sought to undermine the author¬ ity of the chieftainship and of Letsie I. They believed that reducing



the power of “traditional” authorities would make the Basotho more compliant to foreign rule. Upon resumption of direct control in 1884, the British sought to solidify and entrench the authority of the chief¬

tainship as a whole, but especially that of the paramount chief. In¬ stead of replacing the traditional authorities, the British hoped to use them under a system of parallel rule that divided responsibilities be¬ tween the colonial administration and the chieftainship. In general, the colonial administration was responsible for law and order, taxa¬ tion, and foreign affairs, whereas the chieftainship continued to per¬ form most of their domestic functions. One of the first major political reforms of the 20th century was the establishment of the Basutoland National Council. Resident Com¬ missioner Sir Herbert Sloley was a strong force behind the creation of the National Council. He also improved the status of education and health care as well as putting more funds into the improvement of public works such as roads and bridle paths. These efforts notwith¬ standing, in general the first 50 years of British rule were those of neglect as the colonial power paid little attention to the political and economic development of Basutoland. The British did not see a need to invest in Basutoland as they primarily viewed it as a source of migrant labor for the South African mines. They hoped to be able to transfer Basutoland to South Africa at some future date. By the 1920s, this neglect was apparent in both the physical ero¬ sion of the soil and the increasing number of complaints about the

economic abuses of chiefs who were draining the resources of the commoners. A decade before the major reforms proposed by Alan Pirn, Resident Commissioner Sir John Sturrock proposed a compre¬ hensive scheme for reforming the chiefs’ courts. The regulations that he drafted proposed that the resident commissioner should have the power to penalize chiefs who failed to perform their duties in a timely manner. The regulations also sought to divide the courts into two levels, Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 courts would be those of the district chiefs and Class 2 those of lesser chiefs and subchiefs. Al¬ though the National Council rejected these reforms in 1929, they foreshadowed later colonial reforms. In an effort to relieve the back¬ log in the colonial courts, Sturrock appointed Patrick Duncan as judi¬ cial commissioner for Basutoland in 1928. In a further attempt to have greater role in local administration, in 1929 the colonial govern-


ment abandoned its philosophy of parallel rule for that of indirect rule, which was utilized in most of Britain’s colonies. Under indirect rule, the chiefs were now considered agents of the colonial govern¬ ment, instead of occupying a separate realm. In 1931 Sturrock once again proposed reforms, which would be completed a decade later, suggesting that chiefs consult their people before and after each ses¬ sion of the National Council. Sturrock sought these democratic re¬ forms in an attempt to make the chiefs more responsive to the people and subsequently diffuse the mounting tensions between the com¬ moners and the chiefs. In the early 1930s drought accentuated by a lack of development resulted in economic hardship and complaints about the financial burden that the chiefs placed upon the people. In September 1934 the British secretary of state for dominion affairs commissioned an economist, Sir Alan Pirn, to investigate the economic and political situation in Lesotho. Released in 1935, Pirn’s report, Financial and Economic Position of Basutoland: Report of Commission Appointed by the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, recommended that the number of chiefs should be reduced. Other aspects of the report fo¬ cused on the need to combat soil erosion and to improve bridle paths throughout the colony. Based upon Pirn’s observations and recommendations, the colo¬ nial authorities crafted the 1938 Native Administration Proclamations that rendered formal recognition to the paramount chief and the chieftainship by defining their powers and vesting them with legal authority. The Native Administration Proclamation No. 61 acknowl¬ edged the paramount chief as the supreme “native authority” by granting him and not the National Council the power to issue orders. However, for all intents and purposes, orders emanated from the Na¬ tional Council and the paramount merely signed them into being. In similar fashion, the Native Courts Proclamation No. 62 reduced the number of chiefs who could hold court from 2,500 to 1,340. This proclamation vested approximately 1,340 chiefs as authorities subor¬ dinate to the paramount chief. Coupled with the reduced number of chiefs, the order also restricted the placing of new chiefs, as all future placements had to be approved by the resident commissioner. Through these acts, the British sought to control the chieftainship through a policy of “gazetting,” which granted official recognition


to certain chiefs and prescribed their judicial and administrative functions. This act impacted a majority of chiefs and headmen, as many minor chiefs and headmen lost their position as well as the im¬ portant revenue generated from holding court. Although no chiefs were actually stripped of their position, those not recognized by the government were no longer legally allowed to charge for their ser¬ vices. The 1938 Native Proclamations integrated the colonial administra¬ tion and the chieftainship, ending the system of parallel rule in Basu¬ toland and replacing it with the system of Indirect Rule developed by Lord Lugard in Northern Nigeria earlier in the century. The chief¬ tainship continued to carry out most of its “traditional” functions, but it now did so under colonial supervision. Instead of two separate branches of government as existed under parallel rule, indirect rule sought to integrate the two branches. In an attempt to combat soil erosion, the colonial government em¬ barked on a series of tree planting and donga (gully) reclamation projects. Although providing some temporary relief, these measures did not address the issues of overcrowding and overgrazing and con¬ sequently they failed to have a significant or lasting impact. It was not until the conclusion of World War II that the British government began to invest in the development of Basutoland in earnest. After the war, the British government also made significant alter¬ ations to the colony’s political and economic structure beginning with the introduction of the Native Treasury in 1946. Whereas chiefs had previously retained the fines and fees of their courts, the fines they collected would now go directly to the National Treasury, which in turn paid the chiefs a monthly wage. The National Treasury was designed to curb the practice of “eating” (chiefs imposing excessive fines for personal gain). The paramount chief and principal/ward chiefs received a fixed salary, and gratuities were paid to lesser chiefs and allowances to councilors and other public servants. Only the chiefs who administered the 130 (later reduced to 107) recognized courts were paid for judicial services. However, the 1,100 chiefs who were gazetted but no longer authorized to hold court also received payments from the National Treasury as compensation for their du¬ ties. Most of these reforms were undertaken during Charles Noble

Arden-Clarke’s tenure as resident commissioner. During World War



II, he visited Basotho troops in North Africa to consult them on his proposed reforms. In 1950, the colonial government revised its fig¬ ures and officially acknowledged 11 principal chiefs, 12 ward chiefs, 270 chiefs, and 859 headmen as being eligible to receive payments from the National Treasury. In 1949, the colonial administration began to transfer responsibil¬ ity for the upkeep of the local infrastructure to the Basotho. The Na¬ tional Council assumed responsibility for the maintenance of bridle paths and individual chiefs for the control of livestock importation and grazing areas. The National Council initiated the next phase of the reform process in the early 1950s by requesting legislative pow¬ ers. Responding to this demand in 1954, the colonial authorities com¬ missioned the Administrative Reforms Committee, headed by Sir Henry Moore, to investigate the matter. The report issued later that year suggested that the National Council should be granted legisla¬ tive authority on a limited number of domestic issues such as sanita¬ tion, pigs in cities, bridle paths, and minor roads. Distributed in both Sesotho and English, the Moore Report met with wide-scale criticism from almost all corners of the Basotho political spectrum. Disap¬ proval of the Moore Report was voiced at local pitso, the National Council, and by numerous other political and cultural organizations. Rejecting the recommendations of the Moore Report, the National Council in 1955 passed a resolution requesting that the council be granted full legislative power over all internal matters. The following year, the British responded to mounting calls for reform by accepting the Council’s petition to be bestowed with legislative powers. A 1958 law established that the National Council would officially become a legislative council, having jurisdiction over internal affairs in 1960. The composition of the new National Council was 80 members; 40 members would be indirectly elected through the district councils, the 22 principal chiefs, 14 members nominated by the paramount chief, and 4 British officials. In an effort to further institutionalize the chieftainship, the Consti¬ tutional Reform Committee and Chieftainship Committee were formed in 1959. Under the recommendation of these committees, the 1959 Constitution called for the establishment of the College of Chiefs in 1960 that was responsible for overseeing chiefly affairs. In particular, the College of Chiefs was responsible for settling succes-


sion and territorial disputes as well as conferring the power of both the chiefs and the paramount.


CONQUERED TERRITORY. A valuable tract of Basotho land in the mid-19th century, the Conquered Territory lies west of present-day Lesotho. It stretches from the Caledon River to Thaba ’Nchu, and runs north of the junction of the Caledon and Orange Rivers. During the Seqiti War, the Orange Free State (OFS) wrested the region from Basutoland under the terms of the Treaty of Thaba Bosiu. In the aftermath of the war, large populations of dispossessed Basotho migrated to the crowded, mostly nonarable and mountainous regions remaining under Basotho control. See also ALIWAL NORTH, CON¬ VENTION OF; ALIWAL NORTH, TREATY OF; DAUMAS, FRANQOIS.

CONSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION. The emerging state in Lesotho, prior to the consolidation of colonial rule, reflected a complex pattern of reciprocal interactions between rulers and the ruled and among the different levels of political authority. Citizens of Lesotho look back to strong traditions of popular government in which diverse opinions were respected, leaders were accountable, due process of law was up¬ held, and citizens were consulted on important issues through public gatherings called pitsos. Nevertheless, the consolidation of power by hereditary rulers simultaneously created opportunities for authoritar¬ ian rule and abuse of power. Political structures and norms remained in flux while Moshoeshoe, the charismatic national founder, still reigned and Basotho politics lacked standardized operating proce¬ dures and remained highly personal. British colonial rule reinforced the authoritarian dimensions of Ba¬ sotho political culture. A system described as parallel rule permitted the colonial authorities to coopt indigenous authorities to maintain order, collect taxes, and provide labor. Although the outlines of Mo¬ shoeshoe’s pattern of rule remained intact, chiefs could increasingly use communal assets as personal property and look for support from the colonial authorities if challenged. The system became more hier-



1 archical because the colonial regime supported the authority of the successive paramount chiefs against any challengers. To some de¬ gree, the Laws of Lerotholi, that codified indigenous practices, helped perpetuate a dualism between traditional and colonial institu¬ tions that persisted until the 1930s. The Basutoland National Coun¬

cil was formed ostensibly to promote consultation. However, it reinforced emerging authoritarian patterns because it consisted, ini¬ tially, only of chiefs and British officials, altered later to include token representation of emerging civil society groups like the Basu¬

toland Progressive Association (BPA). When abuses of authority, proliferation of chiefs, and economic decline led the colonial regime to promote “reform” in the 1930s and 1940s, the British authorities arbitrarily applied patterns of native administration widely used in other colonies. In the name of promot¬ ing more responsible government, they increased the roles of colonial administrators, regulated the power of chiefs and made them salaried employees, established a National Treasury, formed district councils with an elected component, and added indirectly elected delegates from the districts to the National Council. These constitutional inno¬ vations did not take into account the opinions of either the chiefs or the public, but prompted Basotho to organize new political groupings to push for genuine expansion of local self-government and popular participation. In 1955, the National Council and Basutoland African Congress (BAC) summarily rejected reforms proposed by Sir Henry Moore’s Administrative Reforms Commission on the ground that Ba¬ sotho demands for constitutional advance had been totally ignored. In 1958, the National Council accepted a Report on Constitutional Reform and Chieftainship Affairs that was accepted by the British government with only minor modifications as the basis for a new constitution implemented in 1960. Half of the new legislature con¬ sisted of principal chiefs, official British members, and appointees of the paramount chief, and half of the representatives were selected indirectly by district councils elected by Basotho voters. Since only taxpayers were qualified to vote, most women were excluded from the process. The new National Council was empowered to select four executive councilors who would administer the Departments of Agri¬ culture, Education, Local Government, and Works. The elected dis¬ trict councils assumed control of certain important, but unpopular,


local government functions, such as erosion and grazing control. This supposed “preparation” of Basotho for future self-government kept the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), the strongest political party, in opposition; maintained colonial control over the key areas of fi¬ nance, internal security, justice and development planning; ensured that the Basotho understudies vetted for top civil service positions absorbed British administrative norms; and showed Basotho politi¬ cians that the Westminster tradition applied in Lesotho included a po¬ tentially strong authoritarian dimension. The Basutoland Constitutional (Amendment) Order of 1965 was based primarily on the recommendations of a new Constitutional Commission representative of all political groups that was estab¬ lished in 1963. With only minor modifications, the 1965 document became the basis for the constitution under which Lesotho gained independence, namely, the Lesotho Independence Order of 1966. This document was based upon liberal democratic values strongly reminiscent of British parliamentary institutions. Legislative and ex¬ ecutive power emanated from a popularly elected National Assem¬ bly where the leader of the party commanding support of a majority of members became prime minister and formed a Cabinet to govern the country. The paramount chief, now styled king, became head of state, but was denied the executive powers he sought and obligated to act as a constitutional monarch in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet. A Senate composed of the 22 principal chiefs and 11 nominees chosen by the king had limited powers to compel reconsid¬ eration of legislation. An independent judicial system and Civil Ser¬ vice Commission served to check executive power. The constitution also included a substantial Bill of Rights guaranteeing civil liberties and political freedoms, but most rights were hedged by saying their application “should not be limited to a greater extent than is neces¬ sary in a practical sense in a democratic society.” Most significant to the fate of constitutionalism in Lesotho was that King Moshoeshoe II did not consider his prescribed role as a constitutional monarch to be legitimate. His supporters argued that his traditional authority as leader of the Basotho justified his acting in what he considered to be the national interest, even if this contra¬ dicted the advice of his prime minister and Cabinet. After the king’s actions led to the violent Thaba Bosiu Affair, Chief Jonathan

constitiJtional evolution • 71

forced him to sign a declaration that he would act as the Constitution prescribed and would be deemed to have abdicated if he continued his political activities or defied his government. The 1966 Constitu- tion was thus not the product of a broad national consensus with le¬ gitimacy throughout all sections of the society. Ironically, it was Chief Jonathan, the primary architect and de¬ fender of this Constitution, who would abrogate it when his Basotho National Party (BNP) was defeated at the polls in 1970. The Leso¬ tho Order (No. 1) of 1970 established an authoritarian regime of personalist rule that was to evolve in directions reminiscent of the preindependence colonial pattern of government. Initially executive and legislative authority was vested in a prime minister and Council of Ministers, with the king relegated to a wholly subordinate role. To re-create a modicum of international and external legitimacy, the Lesotho Order of 1973 created an appointed Interim National As¬

sembly (INA), reminiscent of the pre-1960 National Council, that consisted of the 22 leading chiefs, 60 persons whom the prime minis¬ ter considered to represent the range of opinions in the country, and 11 knowledgeable persons rewarded for distinguished service to Le¬ sotho. Jonathan was able to coopt segments of the opposition, leading to a split in the BCP and precipitating the BCP failed coup of 1974. Jonathan’s rigged majority in the INA permitted passage of security legislation limiting freedom of assembly and permitting detention without trial. Patronage, fueled by foreign aid arising from Jona¬ than’s newfound hostility to South Africa, kept this unrepresentative personalist system functioning until 1986. The institutions created following the military coup of 1986 had the outward appearance of an executive monarchy where a Military Council, composed of military officers, shared power with a Council of Ministers, consisting largely of civilians associated with the mon¬ arch. On behalf of the Military Council, Colonel Thaabe Letsie swiftly signed the Lesotho Highlands Water Treaty with South Af¬ rica. Although he approved of this initiative, Moshoeshoe II sought to sensitize the military leadership to the risks of extensive collabora¬ tion with South Africa and especially Bantustan leaders like Matanzima. But in general, the requirement of the Lesotho Order No. 2 of 1986, that the king and his ministers act in accordance with the ad¬ vice of the Military Council, prevailed. Political party activity was


prohibited and already ample security powers were enhanced. The commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, who was automatically also chairman of the Military Council, assumed even greater powers than Leabua Jonathan held as prime minister after 1970. Each Mili¬ tary Council member oversaw several Cabinet ministers, who quickly learned to defer to the wishes of their superiors. Even before Metsing Lekhanya moved to more direct military administration in 1990 by dismissing the ministers loyal to Moshoeshoe II, military officers had assumed several Cabinet positions. That the military was the ultimate power was decisively demonstrated when Lekhanya ex¬ iled Moshoeshoe II and arranged the coronation of Letsie III. Under pressure from citizens, donors, and the contrasting political transformation beginning in South Africa, the Military Council at¬ tempted to legitimize itself by establishing a National Constituent Assembly (NCA) to consider reestablishment of constitutional rule. Soon thereafter, mutinous junior officers dismissed many of their seniors and replaced Lekhanya with Phisoana Ramaema. The os¬ tensible cause was their demand for a pay increase, but dismay about corruption, the dismissal of Moshoeshoe II, and Lekhanya’s role in the death of a student were factors undermining his authority. A re¬ luctant leader, Ramaema presided over the restoration of constitu¬ tional civilian government. The proclamation forming the Constituent Assembly vested all ex¬ ecutive authority in the Military Council; the appointed assembly in¬ cluded the Military Council, Council of Ministers, ranking chiefs, political party leaders, citizens with special qualifications, and dele¬ gates from the security services. Although observers warned that such a nonrepresentative body would lack sufficient legitimacy, sup¬ port for a rapid return to popular civilian rule obviated this problem. Incorporation of virtually all of the 1966 Constitution in the 1993 document simplified the task. There was a consensus that failure to comply with its provisions, not its content, had been the source of prior unconstitutional actions. Sections guaranteeing fundamental human rights and freedoms were strengthened with added rights of association and participation in government. Provisions were in¬ cluded to augment judicial independence and public accountability by lessening political control of the attorney general and establishing an ombudsman.




Several time bombs lay hidden in the Constitution. It did not dis¬ mantle the security legislation on the books since the colonial period that had been greatly augmented during the Jonathan and military regimes. It created a complex Council of State to advise the king, hut did not specify its powers or resolve whether Moshoeshoe II or Letsie III should reign. With disastrous consequences, the Military Council inserted provisions for a Defence Commission empowered to super¬ vise appointment and discipline of military and police personnel, ef¬ fectively removing these key security forces from direction by the elected prime minister. Because prior electoral outcomes had pro¬ duced significant parliamentary opposition, no one recognized that the first-past-the-post electoral system might create a de facto sin¬ gle-party state, excluding the opposition from legal participation. No constitutional document could have changed the fact that the political protagonists remained the same parties and leaders who had engaged in all the prior conflicts and brought along a legacy of recrimination, not consensus building. The results were a series of challenged elec¬ tions, mutinies within the security forces, and breakdowns of civil order that precipitated the regional intervention led by Botswana and South Africa on behalf of the Southern African Development

Community (SADC). The two significant constitutional amendments have been enacted to remedy these problems. The first implemented in 1996 eliminated the sections inserted by the Military Council without the approval of the Constituent Assembly. The Defence Commission was abolished and the prime minister was given power to appoint or remove the heads of the Defence Force, Police, and Prison Service. Parliament was authorized to pass legislation determining the organization, ad¬ ministration and discipline of the Security Forces, including ap¬ pointment and removal of personnel. After long contention between the Interim Political Authority and the Lesotho Congress for De¬ mocracy (LCD) government, the Constitution was amended in 2001 to create a National Assembly composed of 80 members elected in constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and 40 elected by a compensatory proportional representation system. Under this sys¬ tem, the 2002 election produced a drastically different Parliament in¬ cluding representatives of 10 parties.


COURTS. See LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM. CURRENCY. One of the regional organizations in which Lesotho participates is the Common Monetary Area. As a result, the South African rand and a local currency, the maloti (mountains), both cir¬ culate and are legal tender in Lesotho on a par with each other. The maloti consists of 100 lisenti (cents). The reigning monarch’s picture usually appears on bills and coins, but was temporarily removed from new currency when Metsing Lekhanya and the Military Council exiled Moshoeshoe II in 1990.

- DDAMANE, MOSEBI (1919-1996). One of the most respected and in¬ fluential historians of Lesotho, Mosebi Damane, was bom in January 1919 at Masitise in the Quthing district. After completing Masitise primary school, he continued his education at Lovedale, in South Af¬ rica, matriculating in 1939. He remained in South Africa for two more years while working toward his diploma in education at Lort Hare College. In 1941 Mosebi Damane obtained a B.A. from the University of South Africa. After receiving his diploma, he returned to Basutoland and spent the next two years teaching at the Masitise Intermediate School. Over the next 30 years, Mosebi Damane served as a history teacher in several high schools in Basutoland, including the Basutoland High School in Maseru (1944-1955), Morija Training College (1956), and Peka High School (1959), and he served as prin¬ cipal of Mafeteng High School from 1959 to 1964. Between his teaching stints, Mosebi Damane continued his education; beginning in 1956, he studied linguistics under Professor Westphal at the Lon¬ don School of Oriental and African Studies, completing his certifi¬ cate in 1958. In 1965, he began studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he obtained a diploma in the methods of teaching Trench to foreign students in 1967. Returning to Lesotho, he taught at Mo¬ shoeshoe II High School at Matsieng for two years, before returning to Morija for one year. Starting in 1971 he spent three years working on his M.A. in history at the University of Botswana, Lesotho, and

Swaziland (UBLS). In 1973, he became a member of the History



Department at the National University of Lesotho (NUL). In 1975 he completed his thesis, “The Batlokoa State.” During his 12 years as a member of the department, he served as its head from 1980 to 1985. In 1985, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from National University of Lesotho. In addition to being an influential teacher, Dr. Damane was a pro¬ lific scholar. Some of his early scholarly works include Peace, the Mother of Nations: The “Saga” of the Origin of the Protestant Church in Basutoland (1947), Moorosi: Morena of the Baphuti (1948), Historia ea Lesotho (1950), and Marath’a Lilepe a puo ea Sesotho (1960). During the 1960s he contributed two important pieces of work, “The Structure and Philosophy of Sotho Indigenous Poetry” (1964) and “The Role Played by the Paramount Chieftain¬ ship in the Struggle for Freedom in Lesotho” (1969). Since joining the faculty at NUL, he produced several important works, including “Sotho Medicine” (1973-1974), Lithoko: Sotho Praise Poems (with P. Sanders, 1974), “Problems Encountered in Collecting Oral Tradi¬ tions in History of Lesotho” (1986), and “Presentation of Cultural Heritage in Lesotho” (1991). As the leading authority on Basotho history and oral tradition, Dr. Damane was sought out by scholars and was frequently asked to deliver the annual Moshoeshoe’s Day speech.

DAUMAS, FRANCOIS (1812-1871). In 1837, the French missionary Francis Daumas founded a mission station at Mekoatleng under the auspices of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). Cater¬ ing to Bataung and other refugee populations, Daumas developed a mutually friendly, advisory relationship with the Bataung chief, Moletsane. In 1866, the Treaty of Thaba Bosiu placed in Orange Free State (OFS) hands Basotho territory lying west of the Caledon River, and the Afrikaner government expelled Daumas. Concerned that the OFS would trespass further, Daumas proposed to British au¬ thorities that Natal annex Basutoland. In 1869, the Convention of Aliwal North failed to return Mekoatleng to the Basotho, prompting Daumas to lobby England for a more favorable settlement. Initially backed in these efforts by the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, Daumas failed to garner sufficient support, leading to Moshoeshoe’s repudia¬ tion of the plans and his pursuit of alternative proposals.


DAVID, GABRIEL. See ANGLICAN CHURCH IN LESOTHO. DES ROSIERS, JOSEPH DELPHIS (1906-1989). Born near Ot¬ tawa, Canada, he was ordained as a priest in 1930. He arrived in Ba¬ sutoland in 1932 and began teaching at the Roma seminary. In 1939, he became superior of the seminary, and in 1942 he became the superior and the manager of the Mazenod Institute. In 1948, he was appointed bishop, succeeding Bishop Joseph Bonhomme. Des Rosiers continued many of Bonhomme’s policies, but was more dip¬ lomatic in his approach. He oversaw a new period of school expan¬ sion in the postwar era. Although he continued Bonhomme’s policies of promoting Basotho within the church and its social action pro¬ grammes, Des Rosiers changed the political bent of the Roman

Catholic Church in Basutoland by writing numerous anticommunist editorials in Moeletsi. This stance led to a rift with Basotho radicals that carried over into Basotho politics both before and after indepen¬ dence. See also BASOTHO NATIONAL PARTY.

DEVELOPMENT WORK. For most of the colonial period, the Brit¬ ish were reluctant to spend money on developing Basutoland. How¬ ever, after the release of the Pirn Report the colonial government approved a loan of £160,233 to finance an anti-soil erosion cam¬ paign. During World War II, funds raised from local taxation were used to continue this work. By 1946, 154,000 acres in the lowlands and 77,000 acres in the foothills had been protected. This was a major accomplishment, yet the areas saved were only a fraction of the land that was threatened by severe erosion. In an effort to combat increasing erosion, the colonial administration approved an addi¬ tional £330,000 to tackle this problem. At the conclusion of World War II, the Colonial Development and Welfare Act allocated £830,000 for development in Lesotho over a 10-year period (1946-1956). The funds were designed to spur eco¬ nomic development in the colony. The largest portion of the funds, £333,625, was allocated to public works such as roads, bridle paths, communications, water, electricity supplies, and public buildings. Approximately £282,000 was designated for agricultural programs, primarily antierosion schemes. Lastly, £214,375 was earmarked for medical, health, and educational services. The British also attempted




to improve the local economy through programs such as Home In¬ dustries. In 1946, the Basutoland Home Industries Organization took over the craft centers established during the war by the Gifts and Comforts Fund. The first order of business was the construction of a training center in Maseru and the hiring of eight instructors. The Basutoland National Council allocated £50,000 from the War Levy to build home industry centers throughout Basutoland over a 10-year period. By 1949, most of the Home Industries centers had been closed, and the following year the project was placed under the con¬ trol of the National Council. During the ensuing decade, the adminis¬ tration of the Home Industries program was taken over by various local churches. Since 1967, with an average of over 100 volunteers serving at a time, the United States Peace Corps has worked in a variety of areas including education, agriculture, small business promotion, health, village water supply, and environmental conservation. Since their ar¬ rival in Lesotho, an average of 45 volunteers a year have served as secondary school teachers. Reaching several thousand Basotho stu¬ dents a year, volunteers teach a variety of subjects ranging from math and science to English and vocational skills. Since 1988, Peace Corps volunteers have also participated in the Primary Resource Teacher Project preparing Basotho educators for the classroom. Over the last 31 years, volunteers have worked with the Basotho on a variety of agricultural projects. These have varied from large-scale irrigated co¬ operatives and small-scale home gardens to helping schools become more self-reliant through agriculture and husbandry. Beginning in 1966, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has funded a number of projects in Lesotho. During the 1970s, the UNDP funded agricultural initiatives such as the Senqu Agricultural Extension Project, which sought to increase the produc¬ tion of irrigated crops for commercial sale through the amalgamation of fields. In 1972, UNDP funded the construction of a National Teacher Training College in Maseru that opened in 1975. In conjunc¬ tion with World Bank funding, the UNDP undertook the Thaba Bosiu project that aimed to improve agricultural production by com¬ bating soil erosion in the region. In 1975, the UNDP supported the construction of a vegetable (primarily asparagus) canning plant at Masianokeng in an attempt to create an export market for vegetables


grown in Lesotho. Other branches of UNDP, such as the United Na¬ tions Capital Development Fund, have provided over $13 million of funding for 15 projects between 1974 and 1992. These grants have been aimed at helping the Basotho provide basic needs such as food, water, and health care, as well as establishing income-generating ac¬ tivities. Other UN agencies operating in Lesotho include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), and United Na¬ tions Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 1975 the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) initiated the “Thaba-Tseka Project.” In the subsequent nine years, this project sought to develop the entire remote mountain region that had recently been demarcated as the district of Thaba Tseka. The first objective of this project was to turn the town of Thaba Tseka into a regional center by developing the infrastructure. The first step in this process was improving the roads throughout the region and building an all-weather road from Maseru. The second part of Thaba Tseka’s transformation into a district capital involved building a town with offices and electricity. With the improved infrastructure, CIDA and IDA hoped to introduce cash crops such as wheat and peas as well as to develop livestock farming through improved range-management techniques. The project also sought to develop the outlying villages in the district through improved water supply, sanitation, and access to fuel (wood) for schools. In the quarter-century since independence, Lesotho has received aid from over 30 countries and nearly 100 different agencies as its precarious position in relation to South Africa made it a sympathetic choice. However, since the early 1990s the number has been drasti¬ cally reduced as many agencies have expressed frustration regarding authoritarian rule, corruption, street crime, and inefficiency in Leso¬ tho, and have shifted their headquarters and operations to Botswana and South Africa. See also NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZA¬ TIONS.

DIAMONDS. Two geological reports conducted in Basutoland during the first half of the 20th century, the first by the Reverend S. Doman, and the second by Stockley in 1947, stated that there were no dia-


1 monds in the country. Nonetheless, by the 1930s individual Basotho were digging for diamonds near the village of Kao in the northeastern part of Butha Buthe district. Official recognition of mining activities did not occur until 1954 when a Mosotho woman died as a result of being struck by falling debris. The following year. Colonel Jack Scott of the General and Mining Finance Corporation of South Africa was granted exclusive prospecting rights in the country. Forming a part¬ nership with De Beers, known as Basutoland Diamonds, Scott found 24 pipes containing diamonds. Although they discovered 24, it was the pipes at Kao and at Lets’eng-la-terae (about 35 kilometers east of Kao in the district of Mokhotlong) that would attract the most inter¬ est. In 1961, under pressure from both the Basotho people and gov¬ ernment, Basutoland Diamonds abandoned its operations at Lets’eng, and six years later closed its mine at Kao. In 1967, Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) began operations at Lets’eng, and LONRHO began operating at Kao in 1970. Citing a lack of profit, RTZ ceased operations in Lesotho in 1972. The following year, De Beers signed an agreement with the Lesotho government for mining rights at Lets’eng. The con¬ tract specified that De Beers would handle mining operations at Lets’eng, which were to begin in 1977, for a period of 10 years. De Beers renewed interest in Lets’eng stemmed from the fact that it had a number of large stones at a time when such stones were in short supply. However, by 1980 De Beers requested that the government allow them to close the mine without penalty. In 1982 the mine was closed down and De Beers employees subsequently destroyed most of the equipment as well as the shafts. In 2000, mining activities were once again initiated at Lets’eng. Although never exceedingly profit¬ able, Lets’eng produced 62,000 carats worth over 3 million rands in 1968. In 1967, the Lesotho Brown, one of the seven largest diamonds in the world, was found at Lets’eng.

DIETERLEN FAMILY. In 1874, French missionary Hermann Dieterlen (1850-1933) arrived in Basutoland to run the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) mission station at Hermon. He remained at Hermon for more than a decade, after which he directed the PEMS theological school at Morija, served as a missionary at both Leribe and Likhoele, and ministered to patients at the Botsabelo Leper Asylum. Remembered as a collector of cultural and scientific arti-



facts, Dieterlen recorded his experiences as a missionary and wrote a biography of Adele Casalis Mabille. His wife, Anna Busch Dieterlen (1859-1945), arrived at Thaba Bosiu in 1877 to teach at the PEMS girls’ normal school. The follow¬ ing year, she married Hermann Dieterlen. After her marriage, she as¬ sumed the role of missionary wife, gathering samples of Basutoland’s diverse flora over the years. Much of her collection eventually went to the Institute of Botany in Strasbourg. Georges Dieterlen (1879-1950), son of Hermann and Anna Die¬ terlen, followed his father into the PEMS ministry. Ordained in Ba¬ sutoland in 1908, Georges Dieterlen served at Berea and Thaba Bosiu. In 1932, he moved to Morija following his election as mission president. Six years later Georges Dieterlen assumed the directorship of the theological school at Morija, balancing this position with par¬ ish duties during World War II.

DISANNEXATION ACT. On 18 March 1884, the Cape Colony for¬ mally disengaged from Basutoland. Following the Gun War, Cape officials initially proposed a series of reforms. However, Paramount Chief Letsie I rejected the proposals and the Cape legislature de¬ cided to abandon the northern territory. Popular choice in Basutoland favored a return to British imperial rule over independence, since an unprotected Basutoland almost certainly would face Orange Free


DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS. Since Lesotho fell under colonial administration, the nation has been divided into dis¬ tricts for administrative purposes. Beginning in 1871 Lesotho was di¬ vided into four lowland districts. Since 1910 Lesotho has been divided into seven districts: Leribe, Berea, Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale s Hoek, Quthing, and Qacha’s Nek. Before independence, the number had increased to nine, with Butha-Buthe being separated from Leribe and Mokhotlong from Qacha’s Nek. In 1980, the 10th and final district of Thaba Tseka was carved out in the central moun¬ tain region.




Within each district there is an administrative center/capital, which is referred to as a camp town. Prior to independence, either the Cape Colony or the British colonial government had been responsible for establishing the district capitals. Those established before indepen¬ dence were government reserves under the direct control of the dis¬ trict commissioners. In the camp towns, traditional land-use patterns were not applicable and the private ownership of land was permissi¬ ble. Since independence, these towns have served as district capitals and administrative centers for the Basotho government as well as being the main areas of commercial development. District

Camp Town/Capital




Hlotse Heights







Mohale’s Hoek

Mohale’s Hoek



Qacha’s Nek

Qacha’s Nek



Thaba Tseka

Thaba Tseka

In addition to being divided into 10 districts, the country is simulta¬ neously divided into 24 wards. The boundaries of these wards corre¬ spond to the territory under each of the principal or ward chiefs. Unlike the relatively uniform districts, wards are not always contigu¬ ous units as the mountain cattle posts of lowland chiefs are consid¬ ered part of their wards.

DODA. Also known as Lehana, Doda, the son of Baphuthi Chief Moorosi, catalyzed a series of events that culminated in Moorosi’s Rebellion. In 1878, the British district magistrate for Quthing, John Austen, arrested Doda for stock theft. Sentenced harshly to deporta¬ tion and four years’ hard labor, Doda'and five others broke out of jail. When Moorosi refused to turn over his son, Austen retaliated with force, in turn unleashing open rebellion against the Cape Adminis¬




DONGA. Due to extensive soil erosion, especially in the lowlands, these deep gulleys are a common part of Lesotho’s landscape. Exten¬ sive soil erosion in Lesotho is primarily a 20th-century phenomenon due to overgrazing and the increasing agricultural demands put on the land. In addition to the heavy demand placed upon the land, the soil conditions of Lesotho contribute to the formation of dongas. In the 1930s, the colonial government initiated the first donga reclama¬ tion program, a practice followed by later Basotho governments. However, in general these projects have failed because they have not addressed the cause of donga formation in Lesotho.

DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH (DRC). Although the most similar denomination to the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) in southern Africa, the DRC did not attract Basotho parishioners be¬ cause of the DRC’s association with Boers and the South African government. This hostility toward the DRC was apparent in the 1920s when Paramount Chief Griffith Lerotholi forbade PEMS from accepting assistance from the DRC. It was not until the early 1960s that the DRC was given permission to build churches in Leso¬ tho. Despite the fact that there are a few congregations close to the South African border, the DRC has never had more than a token pres¬ ence in Lesotho.

DYKE FAMILY. In 1832, British-born Hamilton More Dyke (1817— 1898) immigrated to South Africa. Under the auspices of the London Missionary Society (LMS), Dyke founded a school in Cape Town for boys of mixed-race descent. In 1839, he joined his sister, Sarah Dyke Casalis, in Basutoland where he taught at Morija for the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). Ordained a minister with the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in 1847, Dyke founded a PEMS mission station at Hermon. He later became headmaster of the PEMS central school at Morija and served as director of the PEMS normal school. Over the decades the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, relied on Dyke to write and translate letters and other documents. Dyke also reseaiched and supplied information for Basutoland Records, a work written by South African historian G. M. Theal.


In 1847, Hamilton Dyke married Mary Jane Archibald. Their son, Robert Henry Dyke (1850-1912), followed his father as PEMS head¬ master and director of the normal school at Morija. Robert’s second wife. Aline Mabille Dyke, was the daughter of Adolphe Mabille. In 1889, Aline Dyke founded the women’s organization Mokhatlo oa bo’Ma’bana (the “Mothers’ Union”). Several sons from Robert Henry Dyke’s two marriages practiced medicine in Basutoland. These were Hamilton William Dyke, a pri¬ vate doctor at Butha-Buthe who joined the colonial service in 1913; Ronald and Eric John Dyke, also doctors at Butha-Buthe; and Ken¬ neth Henry Dyke, director of medical services in Basutoland’s colo¬ nial government.

-EECONOMY. During the precolonial period, the Basotho maintained a mixed economy that was based on the cultivation of sorghum and the herding of cattle. This was supplemented by hunting, gathering, raiding, herding of goats and sheep, keeping poultry, and cultivating pumpkins, beans, and a rather potent form of hemp. Prior to direct contact with the Europeans who introduced these new crops, the Ba¬ sotho probably began to grow tobacco in the 18th century and began growing maize in the 19th century. The Basotho, like many African communities, did not recognize the private ownership of land; land was allocated by the chief to married men. Accumulation of wealth was primarily achieved through the possession of cattle, sometimes referred to by the Basotho as “banks with legs.” Basotho were able to accumulate cattle, which were more stable than agricultural pro¬ duce. In times of need, Basotho could sell cattle for grain. The impor¬ tance of cattle in the Basotho economy is evident in the practice of bohali. Although cattle were the most important sign of wealth, agri¬ culture was the backbone of the precolonial economy. Agricultural labor was organized and marshaled along the lines of household and chieftainship. The overwhelming majority of Basotho at this time were self-sufficient, with the exception of bartering for iron hoes, knives, spears, and battle-axes from local blacksmiths. As the region had few metals, iron and copper were imported from the northeast.



Beads of different colors were another item that was imported. Local exchange and long-distance trade was informal, operating on the bar¬ ter system with the absence of any formal markets. The ravages of the lifaqane virtually destroyed all economic pro¬ duction in the region; fields went unplanted and many cattle were stolen. Food became so scarce during this time that some were forced to resort to cannibalism. However, the economy rebounded during the late 1830s as the Basotho began to trade grain for cattle, thus rebuilding their stock. By the early 1840s, Moshoeshoe was person¬ ally selling enough grain to receive over £200 worth of European goods annually. At first the Basotho traded their grain to Barolong and Griqua middlemen, but by the end of the 1840s European trad¬ ers and Boer pastoralists were heading to Lesotho for themselves. By the mid-1850s the Basotho began to sell increasing amounts of grain and cattle to European traders. This trade continued to escalate in the early 1860s as the Orange

Free State (OFS) became increasingly dependent on grain grown in Lesotho, bringing increasing prosperity to the Basotho. On average, the Basotho were exchanging 40,000 muids of wheat for clothes, hoes, knives, horse tack, sugar, and coffee. The discovery of dia¬ monds at Kimberley led to increasing prosperity for the Basotho as their land quickly became known as “the grainary of South Africa.” Responding to the growing demand for grain, the Basotho exported 72,000 muids in 1871 and over 100,000 in 1873. Between 1868 and 1880 the Basotho increased production of wheat (introduced by the

Paris Evangelical Mission Society in the 1840s), sorghum, maize, wool, and mohair. During this period, escalating numbers of Basotho entered the labor market; by the end of the 1870s over 15,000 Baso¬ tho laborers were equally distributed between the diamond mines, raihoads, and Boer farms. At this time, few Basotho entered the labor market out of necessity, but rather for discretionary reasons. Many Basotho labored in exchange for plows, guns, and other commodi¬ ties. The demand for plows by Basotho workers, and grain grown by Basotho farmers, is evident in the fact that whereas in 1875 there were approximately 2,700 plows in use, by 1890 that number in¬ creased to 10,000. The introduction of the plow helped Basotho farmers meet the growing demand for grain; by the late 1870s, the


Basotho were exporting between 200,000 and 400,000 muids of grain annually. The 1880s began on a high note for the Basotho as they received £400,000 from the sale of grain, £75,000 from the sale of wool, and £100,000 for labor and work as transport riders. However, the Gun War and the drought of 1884 limited the Basotho’s ability to grow and sell grain. Although Basutoland would continue to export grain for another 50 years, the tide began to turn in the 1880s. In 1886, cheap grain from America and Australia began to reach Kimberley via the newly constructed railroad. This, coupled with import tariffs imposed on Basotho grain by the South African Republic in 1890 and Orange Free State in 1894, made it more difficult for Basotho farmers to sell their grain. In addition to political restraints put on them, Basotho farmers had to cope with locusts four times in the 1890s as well as a four-year drought from 1894 to 1898. However, the most devastating economic blow came with the rinderpest epi¬ demic of 1896-1897 that killed over 80 percent of the Basotho’s cat¬ tle. During the last two decades of the 19th century, as grain exports fell, the production of wool and mohair increased, and the reliance on migrant labor emerged. The increasing importance of migrant labor to the economy of Ba¬ sutoland in the early 20th century is evident in the number of Baso¬ tho who obtained passes to work in South Africa, over 60,000 in fiscal year 1902-1903 and over 98,000 the following year. This trend would continue over the next decade as the number of passes re¬ quested on an annual basis fluctuated between 65,000 and 95,000. Despite this, many Basotho were still able to support themselves through the sale of wool and grain. Basotho farmers slowly recovered from the devastating drought of 1912-1913, and World War I pro¬ vided a temporary reprieve for Basotho farmers who exported 256,000 bags in 1919. Although some Basotho farmers were still able to produce grain for the market in the 1920s, the nation as a whole became a net importer of grain. By the 1920s, wool replaced grain as Lesotho’s main export. The year 1928 was the last year that Lesotho exported grain, selling over 100,000 bags. Basutoland’s economy essentially completed a transition that had been in the making for nearly 40 years; during the late 1920s and early 1930s it went from grainary to migrant labor reserve. The rea-


sons for this include the gradual depletion of its soil from overuse and overgrazing, often resulting in the formation of dongas. As a consequence of overcrowding, increasingly marginal land was being cultivated. Subsidies to white farmers in South Africa and the droughts of the early 1930s forced the majority of Basotho to become dependent on migrant wages. The drought of 1932-1933 was espe¬ cially devastating, killing nearly 40 percent of the Basotho’s live¬ stock. The global depression that began in 1929 caused the price of wool to dramatically drop, undermining the Basotho’s most impor¬ tant export commodity. At the same time that agriculture and wool production were being shut off, there was an increasing demand for labor in the gold mines. The number of Basotho employed in the gold mines hovered around 15,000 during the 1920s and early 1930s. This quickly changed as the number reached 50,000 by 1938. Thus whereas in the 1880s the Basotho entered migrant labor contracts for discretionary reasons, by the 1930s the majority of Basotho men did so out of necessity. Over the next three decades leading up to independence, the Baso¬ tho became increasingly dependent on South Africa for employment and foodstuffs. Since the 1950s, there has been a continued and steady decline in agricultural productivity. Although many Basotho continue to farm, it is almost exclusively subsistence farming that fails to meet the country’s food needs. In the decade following inde¬ pendence, Lesotho imported on average 330,000 bags of its staple food, maize. In recent decades, Lesotho’s economy has become de¬ pendent on South Africa in a variety of new ways, including commu¬ nications, power, transport, banking, currency, and the resale of manufactured goods and foodstuffs. Lesotho’s position as a migrant reserve at independence is evident in the fact that 40 percent of the country s gross domestic product (GDP) came from subsistence farming and six workers were employed in South Africa for every worker employed in the country. Growing dependency on employ¬ ment outside the country continued; statistics from 1976 reveal that there were 27,500 Basotho employed in the country compared to 200,000 employed in South Africa. Furthermore, only 6 percent of rural earnings was the result of crop production, whereas 70 percent came from migrant earnings. Migrant earnings jumped from R 16 million in 1971 to 100 million



in 1976. This was a reflection of both rising wages and increased em¬ ployment. In the late 1960s the number of Basotho men at the gold mines averaged around 65,000, and climbed to 85,000 by 1975. The number of Basotho employed in the gold mines remained over 100,000 for the rest of the decade. In general, the number of Basotho migrants employed in South Africa in the second half of the 1970s fluctuated between 160,000 and 200,000. The dominant position of migrant earnings in the nation’s economy is responsible for the ex¬ panding gap between GDP and gross national product (GNP) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Whereas the GDP was 81 percent of the GNP in 1979-1980, it fell to 57 percent in 1982-1983. During the 1970s the domestic output of Lesotho increased by 6 percent, mostly as a result of migrant wages and foreign aid (which accounted for 25 percent of the GDP). As the price of gold fell in the early 1980s and South Africa began to place a greater emphasis on hiring Africans from within its own borders, it has become increasingly difficult over the last 20 years for Basotho to find work in South Africa. The number of Basotho em¬ ployed in South Africa outside the gold fields dropped from an aver¬ age of over 40,000 in the 1970s to 22,000 in 1983. After reaching a peak of 127,000 in 1990, the number of men working in the mines dropped to 97,000 in 1994. The decline in number of Basotho work¬ ing in the mines is reflected in the percentage of the GNP that comes from remittances. From a high of over 50 percent in 1983-1984, mi¬ grant remittances dropped to 33 percent in 1996. Another conse¬ quence of the retrenchment of miners is that, adjusted to 1980 prices, Lesotho’s GNP per person fell from 381 rands in 1985 to 354 in 1992, and the per capita GNP in 1993 was the lowest in over a decade. Since independence, revenue stemming from the Southern Afri¬ can Customs Union (SACU) Agreement has comprised a significant portion of funds available to the government. The SACU was initially established in 1910 and consisted of South Africa and the three High Commission Territories. As part of the original treaty, Lesotho re¬ ceived 0.8 percent of the common customs and excise pool. In 1965, the percentage that Lesotho received was altered to 0.47 percent. In 1969 the SACU agreement was revised, and since that time the gov¬ ernment of Lesotho has received between 17.5 percent and 22.5 per-


cent of the value of goods imported into the nation. Beginning in the late 1970s the revenue generated from the SACU failed to keep pace with increased government spending, and coupled with rising infla¬ tion in the early 1980s, caused Lesotho’s debt service to jump from 1.6 percent of the GNP in 1979/80 to 5.1 percent in 1982/83. During the 1994-1995 fiscal year the 841 million rands the government re¬ ceived from the customs agreement comprised 58 percent of total government receipts. To help manage its foreign debt, in 1988 Lesotho accepted the In¬ ternational Monetary Fund’s (IMF) structural adjustment program. At that time the nation’s deficit was 9 percent of the GDP. The gov¬ ernment has done a good job of controlling expenses since the intro¬ duction of the structural adjustment program in 1988. Government expenses averaged about 30 percent of the GNP during the following half-dozen years. During the 1992/93 fiscal year the government had its first budget surplus, and in 1993-1994 the budget surplus rose to 2.3 percent of the GNP. The government continued to balance the budget; in 1996 the nation’s revenues of $507 million exceeded its expenditures of $487. However, in 2000 expenditures once again ex¬ ceeded revenues. The nation’s debt service in 1994 stood at 4.2 per¬ cent of Lesotho’s exports of goods and services. Lesotho’s debt is currently $720 million. Since the late 1980s inflation has steadily re¬ mained between 6 and 10 percent. Lesotho’s status as a migrant reserve dependent on goods from South Africa remains the case; in 1994 imports exceeded exports by R 2.7 billion and the trade gap continued to grow 7 to 8 percent annu¬ ally during the middle of the decade. In the later part of the 1990s, Lesotho imported goods worth nearly four times the value of goods that it exported. However, Lesotho’s economy did experience growth during the mid-1990s, the GDP growth rate for 1993 was 5 percent, and that trend continued with an 11 percent growth rate in 1994. The estimated growth rate for 1997 was 10 percent; however, the period of growth seems to be slowing as the growth rate for 2000 and 2001 was 3.3 percent. The projected growth rate for 2002 was 2.8 percent. Adjusted to 1980 prices, the GDP rose from R 308 million (205 per person) in 1985 to R 449 million (237 per person) in 1992. The in¬ crease was in part due to construction and an expanding textile indus¬ try. A 14 percent growth in construction was a result of the Lesotho



Highlands Water Project (LHWP). The rise and fall in Lesotho’s growth rate over the last decade are a by-product of the LHWP con¬ struction schedule, the textile industry, and the insurrection of 1998. The completion of construction and the 1998 unrest caused the economy to contract by 11.5 percent. The rebuilding of Maseru and the growing textile industry have contributed to the modest rebound for the economy since 2000. The growth of the textile industry has dominated the growing manufacturing sector, which has gone from 10 percent of the GNP in 1985 to 14 percent in 1991. In 1994, 26 textile companies em¬ ployed around 11,000 Basotho. The emergence of the textile industry has expanded the market for Lesotho’s exports; whereas in 1983 over 93 percent of the nation’s exports stayed within the SACU, that num¬ ber dropped to 60 percent in 1990 with the remainder heading for the European Union and the United States. In 1996, 66 percent of Leso¬ tho’s exports went to South Africa, with North America becoming the second largest importer of goods from Lesotho, receiving 26 per¬ cent. Although Lesotho’s exports have begun to find a wider market, in 1996 over 90 percent of imports came from within the SACU. In 1997 Lesotho exported $200 million worth of goods, of which 65 percent consisted of clothing, footwear, and road vehicles. Wool and mohair in addition to food and live animals each consisted of 7 per¬ cent of the nation’s exports. The government was the largest em¬ ployer in 1994, with over 30,000 Basotho on the payroll. During the 1980s agriculture comprised between 20 and 26 percent of the GDP; however, during the drought of 1991 that percentage fell to 14 per¬ cent. The decline in food production has caused the percentage of household income from agriculture to drop from 40 percent just after independence to 18 percent by the mid-1970s. Today, the majority of Basotho are unable to meet their basic food requirements through agriculture. In 2000 the GDP per capita was $2,400. For many Basotho families the economic outlook is grim: accord¬ ing to a 1993 survey the number of households earning less than 50 Maloti a month rose to over 15 percent nationwide, and to 31 percent in Maseru. Statistics also indicate that the gap between rich and poor is increasing in Lesotho. Of a total labor force of 615,000 in 1994, only 37.5 percent were fully employed and another 25 percent were underemployed.


The 1974 Rand Monetary Agreement made the South African rand legal tender in Lesotho, and allowed Lesotho to issue its own cur¬ rency, the Maloti, that was tied to the rand. The Maloti maintains its value through deposits in the South African Reserve Bank. The Ma¬ loti is treated as equal to the rand in Lesotho, and although it is ac¬ cepted in some South African border towns, it has little value elsewhere. See also DEVELOPMENT WORK.

EDUCATION. Prior to the onset of colonial rule, Basotho children were educated about their history and culture in a variety of ways. Many of the social values of society were taught to children through the use of folk tales. Upon reaching puberty, Basotho youth were taught about their society, culture, and gender roles during initiation school. Furthermore, at initiation boys were taught history through praise poems known as lithoko. At this time they also learned the art of how to create their own lithoko. Women learned the history of their clan by listening to the public performances of lithoko. The arrival of the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) brought Western education to the Basotho. By 1848, approximately 600 Basotho were attending schools run by missionaries’ wives. Rec¬ ognizing the importance of education, Moshoeshoe sent a number of his sons for one or two years of education in South Africa. In 1845, Moshoeshoe sent Sekhonyana, the senior son of his third house, to study in Cape Town. After spending five years in the Cape, Sekhony¬ ana returned to act as his father’s secretary. One of the first members of the ruling lineage to attend school was Ts’ekelo Moshoeshoe, who was a junior son of the chief’s sixth wife. Attending school with Ts ekelo was another junior son named Tlali. Also known as George Moshoeshoe, Tlali served as interpreter for his father and eventually wiote The Story of Moshoeshoe. Despite Moshoeshoe’s interest in Western education, the Basotho did not embrace it on a significant scale during his life. In 1871, the year after his death, only 1,876 Basotho were enrolled in PEMS primary schools. Over the next 30 years, the enrollments rose slowly, reaching 7,000 by the end of the century. The first decade of the 20th century saw attendance in PEMS primary schools jump to 12,610. As the number of students increased, the number of schools also grew, going from 80 in 1880 to 230 by 1908. PEMS was by far the largest provider of primary



education in Basutoland during the early 20th century. In 1910, the

Anglican Church had nearly 1,800 students enrolled, and the Roman Catholic Church lagged behind with less than 1,000 pupils. In 1920, there were over 23,000 pupils in PEMS schools compared to 3,638 in Anglican schools and 4,800 in Roman Catholic schools. By 1932, the number of students in PEMS primary schools had risen to nearly 40,000. In an attempt to catch up with the PEMS, the Roman Catholic Mission opened 80 primary schools in 1930, and was operating 370 primary schools by 1934. In addition to primary education, the mission societies have of¬ fered some form of postprimary education since 1868. During the first 20 years of colonial rule, the PEMS opened a Normal School (1875), an Industrial School (1878), a Bible School (1880), and a Theological School (1887). A decade later the Anglicans built their first English Medium School in Maseru and a Teacher Training School at Hlotse. Nonetheless, the Morija Training Institute (for¬ merly the Normal School) remained the only institution in Basuto¬ land to offer a junior certificate until the late 1920s. In 1906, the Lerotholi Industrial School opened in Maseru. By the middle of the 1950s, there were 978 schools in Basutoland, of which 965 were run by one of the three major mission societies. Some 824 of these schools were supplemented by funds from the co¬ lonial administration. This established a trend of the governmentaided church-run schools that has lasted up to today. There were a total of 112,200 students enrolled in these schools. Despite the high enrollment, few students stayed in school for more than a few years. Out of 112,200 students, only 1,200 were enrolled in secondary school. This trend continued right up to independence; there were only 1,000 students in secondary school out of a total of 167,000 in 1965. At independence, Lesotho was considered to have one of the highest literacy rates in Africa as most children attended school. However, this statement was deceiving, as most children only stayed in school for three to four years and only learned to read basic Sesotho. Since independence the better-funded Roman Catholic schools have continued to expand and raise standards. By the mid-1990s, the Roman Catholic Church operated 75 percent of all the schools in Le¬ sotho. In an effort to keep up, the Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC) opened 29 secondary schools between 1963 and 1983. De-



spite the increasing number of secondary schools, most Basotho are unable to afford the fees, and many are forced to work to help sup¬ port their families. Another problem faced by secondary schools is the increasing percentage of students who fail the Cambridge over¬ seas school certificate examination. The pass rate dropped from 51.8 percent in 1971 to 20.3 percent in 1981. The pass rate remained around 20 percent for the next 10 years, making Lesotho the nation with one of the lowest pass rates. The pass rate has increased from 25 percent in 1993 to 45 percent in 2001. The pass rate for the Junior Certificate examination has also increased over the last decade from 56 perecnt in 1992 to over 70 percent in 2001. Today there are 1,295 primary schools and 217 secondary schools in Lesotho serving nearly 500,000 students. The government’s recent decision to pro¬ vide free primary education without building new schools or hiring additional teachers has led to the vast overcrowding of Lesotho’s schools. There are also six technical/vocational schools and four nursing schools. In 1945, the Roman Catholic Church established Pius XII Univer¬ sity College, the first institution of higher education in the High Commission Territories. In 1964, the college became part of the

University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland (UBBS). In 1975, Leabua Jonathan nationalized the university and its assets and renamed it the National University of Lesotho (NUL). The same year the government opened the National Teacher Training Col¬ lege (NTTC) in Maseru.

ELECTIONS. Before 2002, there had not been an election in Lesotho in which the delimitation of constituencies, registration procedures, voters lists, various administrative arrangements, and particularly the handling, transportation, and counting of the ballot papers had not been challenged by some of the participants. Nor do these ongoing complaints make Lesotho’s elections at all unique. What does need illustration and explanation is why losing political candidates, lead¬ ers, and parties in Lesotho have developed manipulative attitudes toward electoral processes that justify continuing their pursuit of power however fair and decisive the outcome.

1960: The Basutoland general election of 1960 previews Leso¬ tho’s dysfunctional electoral tradition. Because of the disenfranchise-


ment of most women and migrant workers, low turnout, and the indirect method of choosing the elected half of the new Basutoland

National Council, the “landslide” victory of Ntsu Mokhehle and his Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) was exaggerated. A meager plurality of the vote translated into control of six of nine district councils and 30 of 40 seats in the National Council. But a coalition of ex officio chiefs, nominated members, British officials, and minority parties constituted the majority in the National Council and excluded the BCP from positions in the protocabinet, the Executive Council. Apparent victory at the polls did not translate into authority and pa¬ tronage, fostering views that elections were but the first stage of the struggle for power. There were 162 directly elected district council seats and 40 indirectly elected National Council seats (see table).

1965: Under the first-past-the-post system, Leabua Jonathan’s Basotho National Party (BNP) gained a narrow parliamentary ma¬ jority in the 1965 preindependence general election with a plurality of the votes cast. Analysis of the electoral arrangements, procedures, timing, and results suggests a small, if unintended, rural bias that fa¬ vored the BNP and pronounced discrimination against third parties and independents characteristic of plurality single-member district

electoral systems. The Congress Party filed several petitions alleg¬ ing electoral irregularities in the High Court and was successful in two of them, albeit in solidly BNP seats that they had little chance of gaining. They did not question the electoral system per se, but the legitimacy of Jonathan’s negotiating independence arrangements without a clear mandate from a majority of the electorate. Since they perceived the government’s majority to be in constant jeopardy, they became a nonconstructive opposition looking only to victory in the next election. Had the 1965 election been conducted under propor¬ tional representation, a coalition government would have been neces1960 Percentage Results Parties

% Vote

% District Councils

% National Council

BCP BNP Other Independents

36.2 19.8 8.7 35.3

45.0 13.6 9.9 31.5

75.0 2.5 12.5 10.0

94 •


sary. This result would possibly have led to compromise on divisive issues like the appropriate role for the king. But given the level of political contention and recrimination, unstable, shifting coalitions would have been more probable than the creation of national consen¬ sus and a culture of mutual toleration. (See table) 1970: Early reports described the 1970 polling as completely quiet and normal. BNP supporters were jubilant and expected a smashing triumph when early returns showed their party winning some hotly contested constituencies in northern Lesotho from the BCP. When later results showed the BCP making even more impressive gains in previously solid BNP constituencies in the mountains, the govern¬ ment stopped broadcasting the results on Radio Lesotho. Instead of surrendering power, Jonathan suspended the constitution and abro¬ gated the election, claiming that the huge swing to the BCP in so many constituencies could not have happened legitimately. He now discovered various irregularities and acts of violence and intimida¬ tion that no impartial observers had previously revealed. He also as¬ serted for the first time that the suspended constitution and electoral system under which he had governed for five years were foreign and hybrid importations unsuited for Lesotho. The initial transfer of power to an opposition party, invariably considered to be irresponsi¬ ble by the incumbent government, is a critical test of a fledgling de¬ mocracy. Had Chief Jonathan set the precedent of an orderly, constitutional transfer of power, Lesotho’s subsequent history would have followed a different trajectory. Although not guaranteeing that the new government would rule wisely and surrender power, Jona¬ than’s decision empowered the coercive apparatus of the state, setting the stage for military rule. It ensured that when civilian rule was re¬ stored, recrimination and partisanship would be accentuated. Baso¬ tho voters, on the other hand, had proved themselves to be pragmatic. 1965 Percentage Results Parties

% Vote

% National Assembly

BCP BNP MFP Other Independents

39.6 41.6 16.6 2.2 0.0

41.7 51.7 6.6 0.0 0.0



rallying to the BNP where development projects had some impact and defecting to the BCP where the government had failed to deliver or was identified with unpopular policies. (See table) 1985: Pressure from aid donors, the irritant Lesotho Liberation

Army (LLA) insurgency, restiveness in the renamed Lesotho De¬ fence Force (LDF), and growing tension between radical and con¬ servative factions in the BNP prompted Jonathan to attempt to regain democratic legitimacy in 1985. The absurd nature of this event helped trigger General Lekhanya’s military coup of 1986 and fore¬ shadowed the BNP electoral debacle in 1993. Rules compelling 500 supporters to identify themselves to nominate each candidate and re¬ quiring a deposit of M 1000 by each nominee led all opposition par¬ ties to boycott the election as a fraudulent scheme designed to intimidate opposition and sustain the BNP dictatorship. Hence the BNP candidates were declared elected unopposed. Ironically, the BNP leadership would cry foul when a similar sweep for the BCP occurred legitimately in 1993. 1985 Results: Opposition boycott; no vote held; BNP wins 100 percent of National Assembly seats. 1993: When a slightly modified version of the 1966 Constitution was restored in 1993, the appropriate electoral system was not an item of contention. First-past-the post, single-member constituencies were familiar and acceptable forms. The campaign to win voter sup¬ port had begun in 1991 just as soon as political activity was per¬ mitted. Most authors attributed the 1993 BCP landslide victory to a right¬ ing of a wrong done them in 1970. Some BNP stalwarts were re¬ ported to be supporting the BCP for this reason, but even BCP optimists didn’t expect to carry all the BNP strongholds. Although local and international observers deemed the election to have been 1970 Percentage Results Parties

% Vote

% National Assembly

BCP BNP MFP Other Independents

49.9 42.2 7.3 0.1 0.5

60.0 38.3 1.7 0.0 0.0

96 •


fair and free, the defeated parties screamed fraud and were able to find support among disgruntled elements in the military who feared BCP retribution for their years in exile. There was no evidence to support E. R. Sekhonyana’s claim that rigging must have occurred because the results demonstrated “robotic” regularity, nor were his legal actions in the High Court found to have merit. Perhaps Sekhonyana genuinely believed that only fraud could obliterate old election patterns, but, more likely, he was outraged by being denied the par¬ liamentary sinecure he expected. His inflammatory speeches played a major role in precipitating the military mutiny and royal coup that led to external regional intervention. Unfortunately, this whole epi¬ sode created an aura of vulnerability and illegitimacy about the duly elected government that carried over through the 1998 election. (See table)

1998: Despite some noteworthy administrative limitations, virtu¬ ally all independent observers portrayed the 1998 election as essen¬ tially fair and free. Moreover, there were no stunning changes in the voting pattern from 1993. The BNP gained slightly whereas the BCP and Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) combined achieved just a bit lower percentage than in the prior election before their split. Why, then, were opposition parties so stunned by the outcome and so convinced that chicanery was the explanation for their overwhelming defeat? The splintering of the ruling party was the basis of their in¬ flated expectations, but they ignored the advantage that a more di¬ vided opposition would give the ruling LCD. The eight minor parties and 30 independents contesting scattered constituencies had no ap¬ preciable impact on the outcome. However, the splits that produced them had created lasting resentments, removed important individuals from the campaigns of the larger parties, and weakened the resolve of some of the party faithful who remained. Both academic and partisan 1993 Percentage Results Parties

% Vote

% National,Assembly

BCP BNP MFP Other Independents

74.5 22.6 1.4 0.8 0.5

100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


analysts assumed that the LCD/BCP split would divide the old BCP following fairly evenly and produce a close election, possibly where no party would gain a parliamentary majority. BCP strength among civil servants and the middle class in Maseru supported the assump¬ tion that the party would command a strong nationwide following. That the LCD could prevail in the countryside among the less affluent members of the BCP rank-and-file was contrary to their expectations and made plausible their conspiratorial explanations. As postelection recrimination escalated, supporters of the opposition read unfounded reports in the well-regarded Mail and Guardian by William Boot and others affirming opposition claims that the election was “rigged.” The opposition parties also blamed alleged electoral abuses upon the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) headed by Sekara Mafisa. After the BCP/LCD split, the LCD government reluctantly acceded to opposition pressure to create this electoral structure, de¬ tached from government and therefore less amenable to fraud and manipulation. Limited in financial resources, prior electoral experi¬ ence, and time to organize properly, the IEC had performed its as¬ signed tasks remarkably well. Prior to the election, relationships between IEC and opposition were cordial whereas interactions be¬ tween IEC and government were strained. None of the administrative deficiencies of the IEC had altered the electoral outcome, but Mafisa and his colleagues served as readily available scapegoats for opposi¬ tion frustration. Opposition protests and demonstrations created anarchy and pre¬ vented government from functioning, leading to the joint BotswanaSouth African regional intervention under Southern African Development Community (SADC) auspices. While the LCD re¬ mained in power, the opposition was successful in getting the inter¬ veners to insist that a more inclusive electoral system be developed, so that the National Assembly would in the future be more reflective of the range of opinions among the electorate. (See table) 2002: Virtually all independent observers portrayed the 2002 elec¬ tion as wholly fair and free and as a model that other states would do well to follow. Despite the LCD/Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) split, the LCD replicated its 1998 result by sweeping all but one of the 78 constituencies contested on election day and gaining the re¬ maining two in subsequent by-elections. Had many LCD voters not

98 •


1998 Percentage Results


% Vote

% National Assembly

BCP LCD BNP MFP Other Independents

10.6 60.6 24.2 1.3 2.0 1.1

0.0 97.5 1.25 0.0 0.0 0.0

mistaken the National Independent Party (NIP) dove for the LCD eagle, the LCD percentage in the party vote would have almost matched its 1998 result. Unlike 1998, only the BNP questioned the results and unsuccessfully sought an audit of the vote. Furthermore, the defeated parties all accepted the seats they had gained in the Na¬ tional Assembly by proportional representation and abjured the dem¬ onstrations in the streets that had created chaos in 1998. Representation of nine opposition parties in Parliament decreased their propensity to question the legitimacy of the election. Although few of the 19 parties contesting the 2002 election fielded candidates in even a majority of the constituency seats, the splinter¬ ing of opposition support in some constituencies worked to the ad¬ vantage of the ruling LCD. To be sure, most of its victories were clear wins with over 50 percent of the vote against the combined opposi¬ tion. However, its nine-vote win in the Teyateyaneng constituency over Shakhane Mokhehle was possible only because of the impact of strong BAC and BNP candidates. If one includes votes acciden¬ tally taken by the NIP, the combined total percentage won by parties included in the BCP in 1993 has changed very little. For the first time, 10 women successfully contested constituencies, all for the victoiious LCD. Two additional women were added through the pro¬ portional seats, but the total fell short of SADC goals for parliamen¬ tary representation of women. Had the enabling legislation required a zebia list, alternating men and women lor the proportional seats, the result could have enhanced the political clout of women. Women did dominate the top of the LCD list, but the LCD gained no seats through that method. Three women became ministers within the 17member LCD Cabinet and two were included among the three newly appointed assistant ministers.


Most parties put their key leaders at the top of their lists for pro¬ portional seats, so they would serve in Parliament even if they lost in constituency races. LPC overconfidence cost Ntsu Mokhehle’s brother, Shakhane, a seat as neither he nor party leader Kelebone Maope appeared on their list. Patronage evidently effected the BNP list, as financial supporters of the party like former Lesotho High¬ lands Development Authority (LHDA) head Masupha Sole were elected despite his having been convicted of fraudulent use of his office and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Each of the parties that won just one seat was represented by their leader, who was placed at the top of their party list. Four parliamentarians provide special continuity with the past as they were first elected to the 1965 Parlia¬ ment. The 2002 election stands in marked contrast to all its predecessors in being accepted as legitimate internally and externally. Whether the minimal acrimony over the result will permit the LCD government to address pressing national problems or whether new internal schisms will emerge to haunt it remains a key question. At least the LCD will have to account for its actions to a vigorous parliamentary opposi¬ tion. (See table)

ELECTORAL SYSTEM. All of Lesotho’s elections prior to 2002 have been conducted under a British style, first-past-the post, winnertake-all system. Single-member constituencies each elect a represen¬ tative to the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament. The 2002 Percentage Results Parties

% Party Vote

% National Assembly


2.9 2.7 22.4 54.8 5.8 1.4 5.5 0.7 1.2 1.1 1.5

2.5 2.5 17.5 65.9 4.2 0.8 4.2 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.0



leader of the party winning a majority of seats becomes prime minis¬ ter and forms a government. The number of constituencies grew from 60 in 1965 to 65 in 1993 and 80 in 1998. Under this system the party gaining the largest percentage of votes nationally has invariably gained a higher percentage of seats in Par¬ liament than its share of the national vote would suggest. The party finishing second has received a lower percentage of parliamentary seats than its proportion of votes nationally. Third parties and inde¬ pendent candidates have fared much worse. These distortions, typical of this type of electoral system, help to explain why each election has been followed by severe recrimination and has tended to enhance rather than mitigate preexisting political conflict. The 2002 election was conducted under a new mixed-member pro¬ portional model that attempted to remedy these perceived deficien¬ cies. The National Assembly now consists of 80 members elected in single-member constituencies and 40 chosen on a proportional basis to compensate for any distortions in representation arising from the single-member component. There were separate ballots for constitu¬ ency candidates and parties contesting the proportional seats. The total number of votes cast for parties was divided by 120 to deter¬ mine the quota required to gain a seat. The number of seats to which each party is entitled was then calculated with proportionally elected seats used to supplement those that a party has already won in the single-member constituencies. A party that meets or exceeds its pro¬ portional quota from the constituency vote does not receive any fur¬ ther proportional seats. Members of the National Assembly elected by proportional representation will be required to resign should they cross the floor to join a party different from the one that chose them. Hence only parties with constituency seats in the National Assembly can lose seats through splits or defection to other parties. The system seeks to retain the direct relationship between legisla¬ tors and theii constituents that is a strength of constituency-based electoral systems, while ensuring that the overall composition of the legislature reflects that actual range of political opinion in the counti y. if applied to piioi elections, the new system would have provided gieatly stiengthened representation for both major opposition and smaller parties. The M 200 ($25) deposit required of each candidate for a constitu-


ency seat hardly discouraged frivolous entrants with no chance of getting the required 10 percent of the vote, especially when each reg¬ istered party was given M 20,000 ($2,000) by the Independent Elec¬ toral Commission toward its 2002 campaign costs. To be on the ballot for proportionally selected seats, each party must make a deposit of M 8,000 ($1,000) and needed only to win one seat by either method to avoid forfeiture. Candidates standing in constituencies may also be included on the party list for proportional representation seats. Minor parties unable to mount a full slate of constituency-based candidates can still benefit from the seats based on proportional rep¬ resentation. Although women have not been previously successful in constituency-based seats, parties can increase the likelihood of their being represented by placing them high on party lists. The risk inher¬ ent in the new system is that it could lead to a fragmented National Assembly with no majority party and create stalemated coalition governments. However, the need to compromise and bargain with po¬ litical opponents could be beneficial given Lesotho’s debilitating conflictual political culture. In 2002, Lesotho Congress for Democ¬ racy (LCD) dominance of the constituency seats gave the prime min¬ ister a substantial working majority, obviating any necessity for coalition building.

ELLENBERGER, DANIEL FREDERIC (1835-1920). A Swiss missionary with the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) and early historian of the Basotho, Daniel Frederic Ellenberger ar¬ rived in Basutoland in 1861. With his wife, Emma Hartung Ellen¬ berger, the reverend worked among the Baphuthi at the Bethesda mission station. During the Seqiti War, the Ellenbergers hid parish¬ ioners from Orange Free State (OFS) aggression, and in gratitude, the Baphuthi chief, Moorosi, asked the couple to relocate with his people to safer ground at Masitise. Although the Ellenbergers served briefly at the PEMS station at Hebron, and spent two years in Europe, they devoted their energies and fives to the Baphuthi. Throughout a long career, D. F. Ellenberger championed Moorosi and his people, particularly objecting to government confiscation of Baphuthi land in Quthing. Upon retirement, he accepted a British government pro¬ posal to research Basotho history. Aided by his wife and his son-inlaw, J. C. Macgregor, in 1912 Ellenberger produced the classic work



History of the Basotho, Ancient and Modern. Parts of the book ap¬ peared in article form in Sesotho over the years, but Ellenberger’s death in 1920 prevented his translating the entire work. While raising a large family, Emma Hartung Ellenberger (1838— 1923) taught at the PEMS school in Bethesda. She added singing and sewing lessons to the academic curriculum. At Masitise, she contin¬ ued domestic instruction and music lessons and encouraged women’s meetings. During retirement, Emma Ellenberger substantially con¬ tributed to her husband’s book by researching material and translat¬ ing all pertinent English and Dutch documents. Several Ellenberger children continued their parents’ involvement in southern Africa. Jules Ellenberger (1871-1974) served as resident commissioner in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. Rene Ellenberger (1873-1944) founded the PEMS Archives at Morija, translated into Sesotho his father’s history, and eventually moved to Johannesburg. On the Rand, he first served as a missionary to the Basotho, then moved to the University of the Witwatersrand to teach Bantu lan¬ guages. Another son, Victor Ellenberger (1879-1974), served as rev¬ erend at Leribe and published extensively. His works include A Century of Mission Work in Basutoland, 1833-1933; Sello, ou la Vie d’un Berger Mossouto (1936); and La Fin Tragique des Bushmen (1953). Victor Ellenberger’s sons, Franfois and Paul Ellenberger, also published works on Lesotho’s geology and paleontology.

- FFAILED COUP OF 1974. Prolonged failure to end Leabua Jona¬ than’s illegal seizure of power produced escalating tension within Ntsu Mokhehle’s Basutoland Congress Party (BCP). When a por¬ tion of that party, including Deputy Leader Gerard Ramoreboli, de¬ fected by entering Jonathan’s appointed Interim National Assembly, BCP cadres attempted a coup. Their efforts to gain arms through attacks on police stations failed dismally. The Security Forces and Basotho National Party (BNP) supporters responded with vigorous counterattacks and reprisals against rank-and-file BCP members as well as their leaders. Ntsu Mokhehle and much of the party leadeiship fled to exile in Botswana, and many others were






FLAGS AND CRESTS. In 1951 the British colonial authorities un¬ veiled Basutoland’s first official coat of arms, a Basotho walking shield with a crocodile (Koena—the totem of Moshoeshoe’s clan) insignia on the center and an assegai (short stabbing spear) and knobkerrie (wooden battle club) behind it. Appearing above the shield is a sheep flanked by two bushels of grain, and below the shield are the words “khotso ke nala” (peace is prosperity). Upon receiving inde¬ pendence in 1966, the Lesotho government sought to replace the crocodile with the image of Moshoeshoe. However, the South Afri¬ can Heraldic Society informed the government that it could not place an individual on a heraldic symbol. Members of the Heraldic Society were asked to draw up a more suitable coat of arms. The design that was selected placed a crocodile, embowed proper (representing Mos¬ hoeshoe’s Bakoena clan) on a shield with an assegai, thrysus of os¬ trich feathers erect, and a knobkerrie behind it. On either side of the shield are two horses reared up on their hind legs representing the famous Basotho pony. The shield display and the ponies are situated on top of Thaba Bosiu. Beneath Thaba Bosiu are the words Khotso (peace), Pula (rain), and Nala (prosperity), which together are a tra¬ ditional phrase used as either a greeting or a farewell. The Public Seal of Lesotho is the coat of arms surrounded by the words Muso oa Lesotho (government of Lesotho). In the early 20th century, the Paris Evangelical Mission Society

(PEMS) was the first association to represent itself in Lesotho with the image of a crocodile on a flag. This flag was used during public ceremonies ranging from the local pitso to Moshoeshoe’s Day events. The first national flag of Lesotho, selected by Leabua Jona¬

than, had, from the left-hand side, first a green and then a red vertical stripe (each is one-tenth of the flag’s width). The remainder of the flag was royal blue with a white mokorotlo hat in the middle. The royal blue was meant to represent Moshoeshoe, and the hat was meant to commemorate the achievements of the Basotho. In an at-

104 • FOKENG

tempt to disassociate itself from Leabua’s regime, the military re¬ gime of Metsing Lekhanya introduced a new national flag. The current flag is divided into two sections (each comprising 40 percent of the flag) by a diagonal blue band (which is 20 percent of the flag) traversing from the bottom comer adjoining the hoist. The upper tri¬ angular half is white, and blue and green occupy the surface area of the lower triangle in that order. A light brown shield is situated on the white half of the flag, with its center line one-fifth of the distance from the hoist. Supported by an assegai (left), a knobkerrie (right), and a plumed spine (center), it symbolizes the Basotho’s traditional safeguards for peace. The flag is based on the traditional Basotho motto Khotso, Pula, Nala. The color on the flag is meant to represent “peace,” and the blue and the green symbolize “rain” and “prosper¬ ity” respectively.

FOKENG. See BAFOKENG. FRASER FAMILY. Born in 1852, Donald Fraser (d. 1939) was the eldest son of William Fraser, a prosperous wool merchant in Ipswich. Perhaps inspired by the Basotho’s purchasing of blankets in Kimber¬ ley, Fraser recognized the potential market in Basutoland for blan¬ kets and other goods and thus in 1877 he bought a trading store in Liphiring, just north of Mafeteng. In 1878, at Donald’s request, his younger brother Douglas Henry (1858-1924) joined him at Liphi¬ ring. During the Gun War the Fraser brothers took advantage of low prices to buy several trading stores in southern Lesotho. Among the stores they purchased was “Old Breen’s” store at Tsoaing that was known as Tlaka-tlaka (which means to shake or shudder), as well as stores at lower Qeme, Kolo, Tsita’s Nek, Moletsane, and Luta’s Nek. In 1881, all seven stores had been either partially or completely destioyed. Despite the stores being used by Cape forces during the war, the Fraser brothers never received any compensation for damage to them. In 1881, they moved the base of their operations to Wepner in the Orange Free State (OFS), and a year later they reopened thenoperations in Basutoland. In 1891, with several stores in operation, the Fraser brothers created D.&D.H. Fraser Limited. At the onset of the Anglo—Boei War, the Fraser brothers owned approximately a dozen stores in the southern districts of Basutoland and in Maseru.



During the war, they moved their headquarters to Mafeteng, and due to a restriction on trading with the Boer republics, sold nearly 20,000 horses to the British forces. Due to his love for horses, the Basotho referred to Donald Fraser as “Ralipere,” father of horses. In 1900, Donald returned to England, leaving Douglas to manage the store. Douglas Henry was an excel¬ lent linguist who spoke fluent Sesotho, which might explain the fond¬ ness with which they regarded him. Douglas was nicknamed “Ramosa” by the Basotho, meaning “Father of Kindness.” It is be¬ lieved that he was given this name after he gave Chief Lerotholi 100 blankets to give to his wife for distribution to Basotho children after the Gun War. Although he returned to England in 1904, Douglas Henry returned to Basutoland every year to check on the stores and attend the annual board meeting. Under the leadership of Kenneth Nolan, who had been with the company since 1898, D.&D.H. Fraser expanded into the northern districts in 1916, and into the mountains during the mid-1920s. Nolan would later serve as chairman from 1952 to 1954. In 1920 D.&D.H. Fraser was liquidated and turned into Frasers Limited. The first chair¬ man of Frasers Limited was Wilson Douglas Roche, who held the office until 1929. Roche was the nephew of Donald and Douglas Fra¬ ser. In 1937 Frasers Limited opened up a store in Johannesburg to cater to the Basotho clientele there. In 1954 Douglas Henry Fraser II became chairman of Frasers Lim¬ ited; however, his reign as chair was limited to two years as he died of a heart attack in 1956. Shortly after the death of Douglas Henry II, Sir Ian Fraser (1897-1974) was named chairman after having been on the board of directors since 1936. The son of William Percy Fra¬ ser, Ian was bom in England in 1897, and spent his life in both south¬ ern Africa and England. Educated at Marlborough College and Sandhurst, he was blinded while serving in the British army in 1916. After the war, he founded St. Dunstan’s for Blinded Ex-Servicemen and served as the president of the British Legion, and in 1924 was elected to the British Parliament. He held his seat until 1958, when he was appointed to the House of Lords. Sir Ian Fraser remained chairman of Frasers Limited until his death in 1974, and his 18-year reign was marked by frequent visits to all the stores in Lesotho, as


well as the continued growth of the company in both Lesotho and South Africa. Over more than a century, the various Frasers enterprises have been a leading force in the evolution of Basotho blankets. In 1897 Donald Fraser contracted the British firm of Wormald & Walker to manufacture blankets for his stores. Their “Victoria” blanket has been one of the most popular sellers for over 100 years. Other Frasers blankets such as Seanamorena, Sefate, and Poone have also been big sellers. One of the reasons for Frasers’ success is that they continue to produce the blankets that the Basotho like, but also that they listen carefully to what the Basotho customer wants. Over the years, Fra¬ sers has sought out Basotho opinion regarding the production of new styles, as well as producing specialty blankets for occasions such as independence and the papal visit. See also CLOTHING.

-CGABASHANE MASOPHA (1908-1948). Great-grandson of Moshoeshoe’s third son Masopha, Gabashane inherited his father’s ward, consisting of the area north of Thaba Bosiu in 1938. Gaba¬ shane was a very influential figure because of his birth position, which made him the third highest-ranking chief in Lesotho, and the education that he received at Fort Hare. In 1938, he sided with Josiel Lefela and was one of only a few chiefs who rejected the reforms based upon the Pirn Report presented at the Basutoland National

Council. He was elected as a member of the Standing Committee of the National Council, and was presented with a special medal by King George VI during his 1947 royal visit. Shortly before his death in 1940, Paramount Chief Seeiso authorized Gabashane, his princi¬ pal counselor, to act as paramount chief while he remained incapaci¬ tated. Gabashane remained acting paramount chief until the installation of Mantsebo as regent in 1941. In 1941 he supported Mantsebo s claim as regent; however, he would later support Bereng Griffith s claim. In 1948 he was convicted along with Bereng Griffith on charges of committing a liretlo murder. Although he was executed for this crime in 1949, there were many, including Lefela and Ntsu Mokhehle, who insisted upon his innocence.



GARRAWAY, EDWARD CHARLES FREDRICK (1865-1932). Resident commissioner, 1917-1926. See COLONIAL ADMINIS¬ TRATION.

GERARD, JOSEPH-JEAN CHARLES (1831-1914). In 1862, French Roman Catholic missionary Father Gerard arrived in Basu¬ toland with fellow priest Bishop Francois Allard. Members of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.), they founded the first Catholic mission at Roma. Remaining at Roma for 13 years, Gerard ventured north in 1875 to establish Catholic missions in Leribe at St. Moni¬ ca’s, St. Margaret’s, Gethsemane, and Sion. He returned to Roma as parish priest in 1897 and remained an active pastor until 1907. Over the years Gerard translated into Sesotho many prayers and hymns and authored several religious books, including the first Roman Cath¬ olic book written in Sesotho. Well loved by his parishioners, Gerard died in 1914, prompting an estimated 15,000 Basotho mourners to gather at Roma. His gravesite evolved into a Catholic shrine associ¬ ated with healing powers and he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Father Gerard’s diaries and journals were published in 1969. See PAPAL VISIT.

GERMOND FAMILY. In 1859, Swiss missionary Paul Germond (1835-1918) arrived in Basutoland to found the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) mission at Thabana-Morena. There he per¬ sonally financed the beginnings of an industrial school that moved in 1880 to its present location at Leloaleng. Germond left Basutoland in 1895. His son, Jacques-Louis-Franqois Germond (1861-1941), re¬ mained in Basutoland to serve as a PEMS reverend at Siloe. This son later transferred to his father’s mission at Thabana-Morena where he stayed until retirement. J. L. Germond’s son, Robert Charles Germond (1897-1971), earned an overseas medical degree, returning to Basutoland to work at the Botsabelo Leper Asylum during the 1930s. As a medical of¬ ficer in government service, Robert Germond also served in a more general medical capacity. He maintained a private practice at ButhaButhe for a few years and upon retirement compiled 19th-century PEMS mission reports. In 1967, the Book Depot at Morija published his edited work, Chronicles of Basutoland. Another son of J. L. Ger-


mond, Samuel Germond (1902-?), continued the family tradition of mission work, serving first at Morija as assistant director of the nor¬ mal school, and later as the PEMS educational secretary. Samuel’s son, Theodore Germond, followed his uncle into medicine, working at Scott Hospital in Morija. GOSSELIN, CONSTANT (1800-1872). Lay missionary Constant Gosselin accompanied ordained ministers Thomas Arbousset and Jean Eugene Casalis to the Caledon River region in 1833. Trained as a mason, he constructed the facilities at Basutoland’s earliest Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) mission station at Mo¬ rija. Over the following 40 years, Gosselin continued to build many PEMS mission buildings, including structures at the Bethesda mis¬ sion station in the 1860s. GRIFFITH, CHARLES DUNCAN (1830-1906). Colonel Griffith acted as governor’s agent to Basutoland during the Cape Adminis¬ tration. Officiating from 1872 until 1881, Griffith implemented the magisterial system and created a mounted police force. In 1879, Moorosi’s Rebellion stimulated further Cape controls such as appli¬ cation of the 1878 Peace Preservation Act, a Cape Colony law calling for African disarmament. Griffith argued unsuccessfully against ex¬ tension of disarmament to the Basotho, ultimately obeying orders and implementing the act. However, Cape Colony peace proposals following the Gun War prompted his resignation. See also DISANNEXATION ACT. GRIFFITH LEROTHOLI (ca. 1873-1939). Named after Colonel C. D. Griffith, the governor’s agent in Basutoland at the time of his birth, he was the younger brother of Morena e Moholo Letsie II. Born in Likhoele, Griffith grew up at the house of his uncle, Bereng, in the village of Masite. Griffith was eventually placed in 1897 at Phamong in the district of Mohale’s Hoek. The Baphuthi inhabi¬ tants of the region refused to acknowledge Griffith’s placement over them, and it was several years before Griffith was able to establish his authority in the region. His authority was not accepted until three years after the Baphuti chief Mocheko was banished from Lesotho in 1903. In 1898, at the lequest of his father, Griffith and his followers



joined the siege ot Thaba Bosiu against the recalcitrant Masopha, who refused to acknowledge Lerotholi’s authority. With the death of his brother, Letsie II, in 1913, and the subsequent passing of Letsie’s only son Tau (there were rumors that Griffith played a role in it), there was no male successor in line for the paramountcy. Following Basotho custom, Griffith was asked to father a child with one of Let¬ sie II’s senior wives. Because Letsie II had paid bohali, the child would be considered his, and thus would be the heir to the throne. Under this scenario Griffith would be regent until the child was old enough to rule. However, Griffith refused to do this and insisted that he would only “sit on the throne with both buttocks,” indicating that he would only accept the throne on a permanent basis. Having little choice, the Sons of Moshoeshoe conceded and in 1913 Griffith as¬ sumed the title of paramount chief (or Morena e Moholo) of the Ba¬ sotho. Griffith moved from his home at Phamong and established a new village called Matsieng New Town just below the original Matsieng (referred to as Old Town to distinguish it), which had been the home of his grandfather. As a young man, Griffith showed little interest in Western educa¬ tion. After a series of dreams and a failed flirtation with the Anglican Church, Griffith converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 1912. This made him the first Morena e Moholo to convert to a Christian church. Griffith’s conversion was central to his ascendance to the throne as he argued that it prevented him from impregnating one of his brother’s wives. Since his conversion, all of the paramounts/Morena e Moholo, subsequent kings/Motlotlehi, and a large percentage of Basotho chiefs have been members of the Catholic Church. Grif¬ fith’s conversion placed the Catholic Church on an even footing with the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS), which had hitherto been the dominant Christian faith in Basutoland. Griffith was probably more autocratic than any of his predecessors, and the position of Morena e Moholo changed dramatically during Griffith’s 26-year reign. These years also witnessed a greater consoli¬ dation of authority around the paramountcy. His rule also ushered in an era of greater distance between the Morena e Moholo and the Ba¬ sotho people. Griffith’s relations with reform-minded groups such as the Basutoland Progressive Association (BPA) and Lekhotla la Bafo (LLB) were often extremely strained. In their calls for reforms,

110 • GRIQUA

both groups were critical of Griffith. In 1921, Griffith held a meeting in which he tried to humiliate the BPA. However, this backfired and the paramount was the one humiliated as the crowd’s sentiment shifted to the BPA. In his dealings with LLB, Griffith tended to avoid direct confrontation through stall tactics or asking the resident com¬ missioner to handle the matter. In response to the growing fear of incorporation into the Union of South Africa, Griffith requested that he be allowed to visit England in 1919 in order to renew his loyalty to the crown. The Basutoland National Council drafted a petition for Griffith to take to London, requesting a return of the Conquered Territory (land in the Orange Free State taken by the Boers during the wars of 1858-1870) and assurances against future incorporation into South Africa. After orig¬ inally standing by the petition, Griffith bowed to pressure from the high commissioner (probably out of fear that his trip would be can¬ celled) and dropped the request. In October of that year, Griffith Lerotholi, accompanied by a dozen Basotho councilors, became the first Basotho Morena e Moholo to visit England. On 9 November 1919, Griffith and the other members of the Basotho delegation met with King George V and the secretary of state to discuss, amongst other things, the issue of incorporation {see TRANSFER QUESTION). Just as Griffith assumed the paramountcy in controversy, his death initiated a succession dispute between two of his sons. However, this dispute was Griffith’s doing as he favored Bereng Griffith as his successor over his senior heir, Seeiso Griffith. GRIQUA. In the late 18th century, the Afrikaans-speaking, mixed-de¬ scent Griqua lived in the Orange River region under the leadership of Adam Kok I. A Christianized, splinter group of the notorious Bastaards, they lived peaceably and intermarried with Setswana-speaking neighbors. In ca. 1813, they Christianized and changed their name from Bastaards to Griquas in recognition of a shared ancestor. With London Missionary Society (LMS) members, they established Griquatown west of the Harts River. The frontier town split into factions during the 1820s. Those who left with either Adam Kok II or Cornelius Kok founded separate towns, while other dissatisfied elements left to form populations of Bergenaars or to reclaim the Bastaard identity. The people remain-



GUN WAR • 111

ing at the original Griquatown under the leadership of Andries Waterboer formed the West Griqua, whereas adherents of Adam Kok II, settling at Philippolis, formed the East Griqua. From the hills near present-day southwestern Lesotho, mounted, gun-bearing Griqua sporadically raided Sesotho and Setswanaspeaking neighbors. Although the raids ceased by the mid-1830s, the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, had learned the importance of horses and rifles in battle, and the protective value of the missionary pres¬ ence. In 1833, he accordingly requested that the Philippolis LMS sta¬ tion send missionaries to settle among the Basotho. This appeal coincided with the arrival in Philippolis of Paris Evangelical Mis¬ sion Society (PEMS) members Thomas Arbousset, Jean Eugene Casalis, and Constant Gosselin. In 1833, these three PEMS repre¬ sentatives became the first Christian missionaries in Basutoland. That same year a number of Griqua and Wesleyan missionaries set¬ tled under Basotho dominion at Lesooane. Over the following decades, the Basotho sold and traded surplus grain to the Griqua who slowly alienated or lost land to European encroachment. In 1863, the Orange Free State (OFS) purchased most remaining Griqua land, forcing a diminished Griqua population to No Man’s Land, where they established a new Griqualand East. This relocation displaced many resident Basotho under Nehemiah Moshoeshoe. In 1869, a significant Griqua population arrived in Ba¬ sutoland from Platberg to establish a community at Bokhate. See also KROTZ, ADAM. GUARANTORS. See REGIONAL INTERVENTIONS. GUMA, SAMSON MBIZA. Both an author and an academic, he penned two historical novels in Sesotho, Morena Mohlomi, mor’a Monyane (1960) and Tsehlana tseo tsa Basia (1962). In 1964, he was appointed head of African Languages in the new University of Ba¬ sutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland. In 1971, his academic ca¬ reer peaked as he became the pro-vice chancellor of the Swaziland branch of the University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. GUN WAR (1880-1881). In 1880, the Cape Administration extended to Basutoland the 1878 Peace Preservation Act, a Cape Colony law


calling for African disarmament. Enforcement of this legislation co¬ incided with a twofold increase in the hut tax as well as confiscation of arable regions in Quthing for white settlement. These actions ex¬ acerbated existing Basotho grievances, especially since the previous year the Basotho reluctantly aided the government in suppressing Moorosi’s Rebellion. Oral tradition maintains that the chiefs, faced with disarmament, ensured continuing regional authority by keeping some chiefs loyal while ranging others against the Cape Administra¬ tion. Paramount Chief Letsie I and Chief Jonathan Molapo com¬ plied with the Cape, whereas others, including the paramount’s son, Lerotholi Letsie, his brother Masopha, and his nephew Joel Mo¬ lapo, challenged Cape authority. The Cape Administration, unable to defeat the Basotho, also failed to negotiate an acceptable peace settlement. In 1883, the Cape Colony legislature finally voted to leave Basutoland. The Disannexation Act went into effect the fol¬ lowing year. See also ANNEXATION OF 1868; ANNEXATION OF 1871; AUSTEN, JOHN; BERENG LETSIE; CLARKE, MARSHAL JAMES; DISTRICTS, CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS; DODA; GRIFFITH, CHARLES DUNCAN.

-HHARDEGGAR, BERTHA (1903-1979). In 1937, the Swiss-born, Roman Catholic missionary doctor Bertha Hardeggar arrived in Ba¬ sutoland after completing a course on tropical medicine. Working for the Canadian Congregation of the Immaculate Conception, Har¬ deggar founded three hospitals while assigned to Catholic stations in Basutoland s mountainous regions. The first hospital served Basotho in the Paray and Thaba Tseka region, while two later facilities at Butha-Buthe and MaMohau further extended health care. Several honors recognized Hardeggar’s medical contributions to Lesotho, in¬ cluding the Pro Ecclesia at Pontifrice from Pope Pius XII, the Mem¬ ber of the Order of the British Empire from King George VI, and an award for dedicated service to Africa from the Royal African Soci¬ ety. See also HOW, MARION. HEALTH. See MEDICAL SERVICES AND DISEASES. HIGH COMMISSION TERRITORIES. See COLONIAL ADMIN¬ ISTRATION; TRANSFER QUESTION.



HIGH COMMISSIONERS. See COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION. HLALELE, ANNA ’MATLELIMA (1929-). Under military rule in 1986 ’Matlelima Hlalele became the first woman to serve in the Cabi¬ net, with the rank of minister of state in the Ministry of Cooperatives, Rural Development, Youth, Sports and Women’s Affairs. Her career embodied a constant commitment to assisting and uplifting the poor¬ est and neediest segments of society in Lesotho. She indicated that her role models were Bernice Tlalane Mohapeloa of the Basuto¬ land Homemakers’ Association and ’Masechele Khaketla. Bom in Teyateyaneng, Hlalele first attended school at Randfontein Methodist School near where her father worked in a factory. After completing with a first-class pass, she studied at Basutoland High School where she earned the Cape Senior Certificate and then be¬ came an assistant teacher. She completed a three-year course at the University of Bristol and received a certificate in education from the University of Bristol. In 1961, she joined the colonial civil service as a community development specialist in the Department of Local Government. The following year she joined the Department of Agri¬ culture where she was involved in launching pilot nutrition programs that eventually became nationwide in scope. She initiated weekly programs on cleanliness, childcare, and nutrition on Radio Lesotho. In 1969-1970, she studied food sciences and applied nutrition at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and returned to head the nutrition and home economics sections of Lesotho’s Ministry of Agriculture. Upon retiring from the civil service in 1977, she established and led the home economics department at Machabeng High School in Ma¬ seru. Hlalele became a member of the board of Lesotho Opportunities Industrialisation Centre in 1989. In 1991, she became chairperson of the Save Our Souls (SOS) Children’s Village Board, working with Austrian and German donors to establish a branch in Lesotho of this international organization that serves abandoned, orphaned and desti¬ tute children. An SOS Hermann Gmeiner School opened at Lithabeneng in 1995. Upon retirement as chairperson in 2001 she became the first person in southern Africa to be awarded the SOS Children’s Villages Order of Merit. Prior to that time, she had been recognized in Lesotho with virtually every honor that the state awards to distin-


guished citizens. Her remarkable energies in attempting to empower grassroots groups have never flagged. In 1997, she received assis¬ tance from the Kellogg Foundation to establish and chair the Maseru Women Senior Citizens’ Association. HOUSING. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Basotho preferred to build their homes on ridges overlooking river valleys. In the period before the colonial era, the majority of Basotho lived in houses shaped like beehives, which were called mohlongoa-fatse. These houses were constructed out of poles bound together at the apex with horizontal hoops holding them together and overlaid with grass thatching. They were primarily used for sleeping and as shelter from inclement weather. One unique feature about these homes was the low tunnel, which occupants had to crawl through when entering or leaving the house. It is believed that this feature was designed to keep intruders (animals or human) as well as windblown dust out of the house. Due to the scarcity of wood, the Basotho began to build cor¬ belled stone homes after they stopped building mohlongoa-fatse. The walls were usually constructed of dolerite or sandstone, corbelling inwards until the opening at the top was small enough to be covered by one stone. These homes were not very high, averaging about 1.2 meters, and the entrance tended to be small as well, averaging 60 X 45 centimeters. A new style of home was introduced by the missionaries in the 19th century, called the rondavel. Based on the style of homes built by the Rolong, a rondavel is a cylindrical home whose walls are built out of mud or stones with a conical thatched roof. In 1840 Moshoeshoe contracted D. F. Webber to build him a rectangular stone house like that of the missionaries. These were the first Basotho homes to have a Westein-style door and windows. Rondavels are still common in Lesotho, yet many homes are now made from sandstone or bricks and have a corrugated metal roof. Although thatched roofs require more maintenance, they tend to be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than the more expensive tin roofs. Many Basotho prefer the metal roofs because they are considered a status symbol and re¬ quire less maintenance. As more and more Basotho switch to tin roofs, the art of thatching is slowly disappearing.


Distinguishing features of Basotho homes include decorative pat¬ terns that women make on windows and the front facade. Decora¬ tions are usually either painted or etched patterns around the doorway. The most common colors used are red, yellow, and black, which are made from locally available ochre. One common pattern is the litems, which has parallel furrows arranged in geometric pat¬ terns often resembling the patterns that appear on Basotho blankets {see CLOTHING). In general, men are responsible for the building the walls and roof of the house and women are responsible for smearing the walls, gen¬ eral maintenance, and decorations. Most homes are constructed so that they face the morning sun in the northeast or the prevailing wind direction. The houses of the compound tend to be centered around a courtyard lelapa where most family activities take place. In general, Basotho families have a smaller or older rondavel, which is set aside for cooking and eating in bad weather. HOW, MARION. Granddaughter of D. F. Ellenberger, daughter of James Macgregor, and wife of colonial administrator Douglas How, Marion How lived much of her life in Basutoland. In the 1940s, she authored The Mountain Bushmen and published a correction to her grandfather’s work concerning Batlokoa migration. Among other topics, her unpublished but influential letters discussed inadequate health services. See also HARDEGGAR, BERTHA; MEDICAL SERVICES AND DISEASES.

-IILLEGAL RETENTION OF POWER (1970). When it became clear that Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan’s Basotho National Party (BNP) had lost the 1970 election. Chief Jonathan canceled the elec¬ tion, declared a state of emergency, and suspended the 1966 Consti¬ tution. Instead of assuming power, Ntsu Mokhehle and most of the candidates of the victorious Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) were jailed. Moshoeshoe II was sent into exile in Europe. Supported by the Security Forces and by hard-line expatriate and Basotho ad¬ visors, Jonathan clung to power and crushed resistance in the coun-


tryside. When his opponents agreed to disregard the election and enter negotiations for a government of national unity, suspended dip¬ lomatic recognition and foreign aid were restored. Thus fortified, Jonathan declined to make concessions to his opponents and re¬ mained in power for the next 16 years. See CONSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION; LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM; ’MASERIBANE, SEKHONYANA. IMPERANI. See MPHARANE. INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (IEC). Demands that Lesotho should create an Independent Electoral Commission to conduct the 1998 general election came to fruition in July 1997 when Lesotho’s Constitution was amended to create the new body. The Le¬ sotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government had reluctantly acceded to opposition pressure to create this electoral structure more detached from government and therefore less amenable to fraud and manipulation. The roles of the old Elections Office, chief electoral officer, and Constituency Delimitation Commission were transferred to the new organization. In compliance with these provisions, the king, acting on the advice of the Council of State after receiving nominations from political parties, appointed Sekara Mafisa, Letjea Qhobela, and Morie Khaebana as the three commissioners. The legis¬ lation required that Chairman Mafisa, an experienced lawyer, be an individual who had held or was suited to hold a high judicial office. Qhobela was a retired civil servant who had chaired the Public Ser¬ vice Commission immediately after independence. Khaebana had been clerk to the National Assembly. All were relatively nonpar¬ tisan. Beginning work in September 1997 for an election scheduled for March, but ultimately postponed until May 1998, imposed an incred¬ ibly demanding mandate upon the commissioners. The IEC had re¬ sponsibility for the daunting tasks of registering voters, including the newly enfranchised 18- to 20-year-old voters; delimiting new constit¬ uencies that had been increased in number from 65 to 80; voter edu¬ cation; nomination of candidates; conducting the actual polling; and tabulating and verifying the results. Unlike the 1993 election where an experienced foreigner was recruited to serve as chief electoral of-



ficer, the new IEC commissioners and their staff were Basotho with little training in managing an election. The IEC pleaded for more re¬ sources and time, but as Mafisa put it, he “was like a voice in the wilderness.” Prior to the election, relations between the IEC and the LCD gov¬ ernment were strained. After the election, opposition politicians who had previously supported the IEC made it the primary whipping boy for their unexpected setbacks. The IEC had botched some technical administrative details. Problems were compounded by the poor train¬ ing and errors of staff dispersed at the local polling stations. How¬ ever, none of these deficiencies significantly altered the electoral outcome. Irregularities in the polling data were likely caused by court-ordered examination of the ballots and tally sheets by opposi¬ tion politicians, not falsification by the IEC. Indeed the Leon Com¬ mission investigating the causes of the 1998 insurgency found no evidence whatsoever of fraudulent behavior by the IEC or its chair, Sekara Mafisa, who was cited as an honest and credible witness. The IEC had made a good-faith effort under difficult circumstances. Nev¬ ertheless, the opposition coalition in the Interim Political Authority insisted on the replacement of all the former IEC members. In April 2000 the new IEC was appointed. Its new head, Abel Leshele Thoahlane, had served as Lesotho’s ambassador to the European Economic Community (EEC) and the United States, was minister of finance during military rule, and had academic credentials and profes¬ sional experience in law and labor affairs. Mokhele Rantsie Likate was a former registrar at the National University with an M.A. in public administration. The third member, Mafole Sematlane, had ex¬ perience as a teacher, police officer, management consultant, and football coach. None had prior experience in electoral administration, but they received technical support from various international ex¬ perts. In addition, the new IEC commissioners had to cope with some complex new technology, including adoption of a computerized fin¬ gerprinting system to ensure voter confidence in the integrity of reg¬ istration processes and to preclude illicit voting. Registration proceeded smoothly, and the parties received copies of the prelimi¬ nary voter lists for verification. Very substantial, if rather complex, informational brochures were provided for the instruction of the staff conducting the registration. Predictably there were challenges to


some procedures, particularly provisions for early voting by electoral and security personnel who oversaw the polling on election day. Virtually all observers commented that the IEC ran the 2002 elec¬ tion in a remarkably open, accessible, and efficient manner, making it a model of a free and fair democratic process. This success was facilitated by creation of a National Joint Operational Centre to guar¬ antee security and provide logistical support to the IEC. Supported initially by representatives from the South African, Botswana, and Zimbabwean militaries, it coordinated the activities of the Lesotho Defence Force, Lesotho Mounted Police, National Security Ser¬ vice, and the IEC. Representatives from all parties were regularly consulted and participated on IEC committees overseeing different elements of the electoral process. A host of election monitors from the European Union (EU), Southern African Development Com¬ munity (SADC), commonwealth, and nongovernmental organiza¬ tion (NGO) communities ensured that both preelection and election day activities were closely observed, preventing unsuccessful parties and politicians from manufacturing grievances to call the outcome into question. Finally, a computerized Election Results Center, funded by the EU, allowed the contending parties, election monitors, and media to view the results right after they were announced in the various constituencies, precluding claims that ballots and results had been subject to tampering. INDUSTRY. See ECONOMY. INITIATION. Around the age of puberty, Basotho boys and girls be¬ tween the ages of 12 and 20 attend separate initiation schools, which prepare them to become adult members of society. During the initia¬ tion process for boys (lebollo), they leave home for three to eight months and reside at the mophato (which is constructed in a secluded spot for the purpose of housing the initiates during this process), and are instructed in a number of intellectual and physical activities. The act of ciicumcision, the removal of the foreskin, takes place shortly after their arrival. The boys will spend the next few months recuperating fiom the operation. During this time the boys learn the history of theii nation, chiefs, and relatives through the memorization of lithoko, mokorotlo, and mangae (songs/poems/stories) that recount



historical events. At this time, the boys also learn the art of crafting a lithoko in order to praise either themselves or their chiefs. In addi¬ tion to being taught in history and their social responsibilities, boys are instructed in sexual education and marital relations. During pre¬ colonial times, boys were also instructed in the art of warfare. Before leaving for the mophato, the boys participate in the malingoana cere¬ mony in which each of the initiates must take a bite from the slightly cooked right leg of a bull without using their hands while being whipped. The following morning, the initiates leave their village for the mophato. When their initiation is complete, the mophato is burnt and the initiated return to the village smeared in red ochre, adorned in either new or better clothing. Female initiation begins with a large feast attended by parents, rel¬ atives, friends, and neighbors of the initiates. After this celebration, the girls are housed in a special initiation hut. During their time at school, girls participate in several ceremonies conducted either along the riverside or in a secluded donga. One of these ceremonies in¬ volves the mythical deep river snake called Motanyane who symboli¬ cally devours them. The Motanyane is played by either a man from the village or a group of women wearing masks. During their time at the school, young women are instructed in sexual education and mar¬ ital responsibilities. They will also learn a repertoire of songs and dances. The girls undergo a process in which the labia minor of the vagina are stretched. This is done because it is believed that the stretching increases stimulation for the man during sex and eases dif¬ ficulty during childbirth for women. For most of the initiation pro¬ cess, the girls wear a grass mask called lesira. Through the early phases of initiation, the girls smear themselves with black ochre ipilo). During the next phase, in which the girls are more often seen in public, they cover themselves with white clay (phepa). At the con¬ clusion of the school, the girls will adorn themselves in the same red ochre as the boys. Since their arrival, the Paris Evangelical Mission Society has op¬ posed this practice but the Roman Catholic Church has tended to ignore it. Although the number of young people participating in cir¬ cumcision school is decreasing for both boys and girls, especially in urban areas, it remains an important part of Basotho cultural life.


INSURRECTION OF 1998. Dismayed by the outcome of the 1998 elections, which it regarded as fraudulent, the Setlamo coalition or¬ ganized protracted demonstrations outside the royal palace in Ma¬ seru during August and September 1998. Sustained by mutinies in the Security Forces and conflicts between the rival security services, these protests led to a state of anarchy and the virtual collapse of Pakalitha Mosisili’s Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government. This chaos led to regional intervention to restore order by the military forces of Botswana and South Africa acting for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Fleeing demonstrators and Lesotho Defence Force personnel torched and looted the homes of several Cabinet ministers as well as much of the business districts of Maseru and several other major towns. After re¬ storing order, SADC forces insisted on the establishment of the In¬ terim Political Authority to create a more inclusive electoral system that would incorporate opposition in Parliament rather than relegating it to the streets. See BASOTHO NATIONAL PARTY; BASUTOLAND CONGRESS PARTY; EVOLUTION; LETS IE III.


INTERIM NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. See CONSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION; JONATHAN, LEABUA JOSEPH. INTERIM POLITICAL AUTHORITY (IPA). The Interim Political Authority was created in 1998 at the insistence of Botswana and South Africa, after their military intervention on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to maintain democracy in Lesotho. Working through the IPA, the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the opposition parties were to resolve the constitutional impasse by creating a more inclusive elec¬ toral system leading to free and fair elections to be held by May 2000. The IPA was also to define norms of appropriate behavior for political parties, a task never completed. Because this new organization consisted of two representatives ap¬ pointed by each of the parties registered for the 1998 elections, nine small parties that had garnered a combined total of 3.5 percent of the national vote constituted 75 percent of its membership. Whatever the failings of the 1998 election, most of the parties and individuals par-



ticipating in the IPA could not reasonably have expected to gain much representation in Parliament no matter what new electoral for¬ mat they devised. Until a settlement was reached and the next elec¬ tion was concluded, the IPA would provide them with the prestige and emoluments of office they had been denied at the ballot box. Therein lay a strong impetus for stalemate. Far from operating in a spirit of reconciliation, the IPA became the new battleground in the bitter power struggles and litigious style characteristic of politics in Lesotho. IPA decisions were to be reached by consensus, but debate over what consensus meant spilled over into the courts when mediators from SADC failed to resolve the matter. Two coalitions emerged among the political parties within the IPA. The Setlamo (Binders) Democratic Alliance formalized the anti¬ government coalition among the Basotho National Party (BNP), Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), and several very minor parties that had led the 1998 insurrec¬ tion. It demanded a system of pure proportional representation simi¬ lar to the system in South Africa. The alternative coalition of very small parties was known as Khokanyana Phiri, meaning, idiomati¬ cally, “people with a common purpose.” It accepted the results of the 1998 election, criticized the disruptive tactics of the opposition, was willing to work with the ruling LCD and favored a mixed elec¬ toral system combining elements of first-past-the-post and propor¬ tional representation. Characteristic of Lesotho’s authoritarian and fragmented political culture, the extended deliberations of the IPA had little popular input and were conducted directly by party leaders or their appointed agents. The rival Setlamo and Khokanyana Phiri Alliances proved to be temporary coalitions reflecting old schisms and the pursuit of po¬ litical advantage rather than genuine efforts at constitutional innova¬ tion and partisan reconciliation. IPA membership, with its emoluments and status, became a revolving door as party delegates arrived and departed pursuant to factional battles within the partici¬ pating parties. Pressed by the proximity of the May 2000 deadline for general elections, the IPA finally reached consensus on a number of electoial issues. Matters agreed to included a mixed system of plurality for single-member constituencies and proportional representation, fresh


voter registration using fingerprint technology, no action on reform of the Senate, and simultaneous local and general elections. Unre¬ solved issues included the appropriate ratio of constituency to pro¬ portionally based seats, the need for a new delimitation of constituencies, single or multiple ballots, and the status of the old Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The most intractable issue, concerning the extent of the proportional component in the new electoral model, was submitted to arbitration in the High Court of Lesotho. The Court panel produced a mixed system that split the difference among the alternatives and satisfied neither faction. Suc¬ cumbing to external pressure, the LCD government and IPA signed a memorandum of agreement to this arbitration decision in December 1999. SADC leaders were to serve as its guarantors, and the secretaries-general of the United Nations (UN), Organization of African Unity (OAU), and Commonwealth were to facilitate its implementa¬ tion. However, the issues were far from resolved. The stressful circumstances that gave birth to the IPA had pre¬ cluded a careful analysis of the constitutional status of this new body. Its position was apparently regularized when the LCD-dominated Parliament reluctantly passed the Interim Political Authority Act of 1998. Although the LCD government had promised to support the final IPA recommendations, it resisted any decisions made without its consent and feared that the IPA would become another govern¬ ment outside the government. Because the memorandum of agreement failed to include all of the particulars, there was room for further disagreement. The National Assembly, the LCD-controlled lower house of Parliament, insisted on passing amendments to the IPA document, arguing that the legis¬ lative prerogatives of members of the sovereign Parliament could not be circumscribed by any prior agreement by the Lesotho government. They claimed that portions of the IPA arrangements conflicted with entrenched constitutional safeguards requiring a national referendum to modify the electoral system unless two-thirds of both Houses of Parliament agreed. Since the majority in the Senate supported the IPA position, a further stalemate ensued. The improvisations of the SADC guarantors to resolve the immediate crisis in 1998 had been made without sufficient regard for the broader constitutional context and became an unintentional second basis for stalemate. In March



2001, both Houses of Parliament finally agreed on a constitutional amendment on the content of the new mixed method of election. Further conflict occurred when Parliament reduced the emolu¬ ments of IPA members on the ground that the electoral settlement had substantially reduced their workload. Despite rejection of their appeal to the High Court, the IPA office in Maseru remained an ac¬ tive enterprise that still considered itself to be a significant player in Lesotho politics. Frequent negotiations, briefings, press releases, and meetings with SADC, European Union (EU), and UN officials as well as foreign diplomats and spokespeople for international and do¬ mestic nongovernmental organizations filled the days. The IPA ceased to be a significant factor when the government, supported by the courts, ruled that IPA members held public offices and would therefore have to resign to become candidates in the 2002 election. As long-standing IPA members resigned en masse, the IEC assumed the central role in managing electoral processes. With Charles Mofeli and Mththuzeli Tyhali, minor party figures who were not candidates, presiding over a group of newly appointed members, the IPA became increasingly irrelevant and ceased to exist on the day after the election, as provided at its inception.

-JJACOTTET, EDOUARD (1858-1920). Born in Switzerland, he ar¬ rived in Basutoland as a missionary in 1884 with the Paris Evangel¬ ical Mission Society (PEMS). His first post was at Thaba Bosiu, which lasted for 22 years. In 1907, he was transferred to Morija where he was placed in charge of the theological school. During his time in Basutoland, he also spent time at PEMS stations in the moun¬ tain district of Mokhotlong. Jacottet believed that the job of the Christian missions was to help establish a strong indigenous African Christian tradition, making him an exception to popular thought at the time. In the first decade of the 20th century, Jacottet was an active de¬ fender of the rights of the Basotho and fought to keep the Basotho out of the Union of South Africa. He also helped convince the British that they should consult the Basotho before transferring them to the


Union. Jacottet died from apparent poisoning in 1920. Although there were several suspects, nobody was ever charged with murder. After his death in 1920, the PEMS missionaries withdrew from the prominent role that they had played in national politics {see TRANS¬ FER QUESTION). The Rev. Jacottet wrote several books that served to preserve Ba¬ sotho traditions and language, including A Practical Method to Learn Sesotho (1906) and The Treasury ofBasuto Lore (1908). JANKIE, HENRY E. (1876-?). Bom in Masitise, Henry Jankie com¬ pleted his teaching and religious training at Morija. As an expert on Sesotho grammar and culture, his additions to Edouard Jacottet’s 1906 A Practical Method to Learn Sesotho with Exercises and a Short Vocabulary for the 1928 edition include derivation of Sesotho words, doublets, synonyms, homonyms, borrowed words, word trac¬ ing, phrases, idioms, and proverbs. In addition to his scholastic mate¬ rials, Jankie published Lithoko tsa Makaloane, a book of praise poetry, and a novel, Mahlasinyane, which details traditional life and the travels of Mahlasinyane. JEREMIAH MOSHOESHOE (?-1863). Also known as Libopuoa, Jeremiah Moshoeshoe was a junior son of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. In 1861, he studied at Zonnebloem School in Cape Town. Following his studies at Zonnebloem, he traveled to England to pre¬ pare for the Anglican priesthood. While studying at St. Augustine’s in Canterbury, Jeremiah died of natural causes. JINGOES, STIMELA JASON (1895-?). Bom in the Berea district, grandson of Ngolozani, a headman, his family was of Swazi origin. He was an active member in the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) during the 1920s. He later became a counselor in Chief Boshoane s court at Mapoteng. In 1938 he was part of a deputation, along with Josiel Lefela, which went to the court of Morena e Moholo Griffith Lerotholi at Matsieng to challenge the 1938 reforms on chieftainship. His autobiography, A Chief Is a Chief by the People, recoided, arranged, and edited by John and Cassandra Perry, was published in 1975. JOALA. This is the Sesotho word for “beer” but is usually used to de¬ scribe traditional Sesotho beer, which is made from sorghum. His-


torically,joala is made by women (though today some men also brew their own beer) and is served at social gatherings ranging from wed¬ dings to work parties. Joala tends to be low in alcoholic content as the fermentation period is between two and 10 days. The Basotho also make a lighter, less alcoholic beer, which is known as leting. JOEL MOLAPO (ca. 1839-1919). The eldest son of Molapo’s sec¬ ond house, Joel would spend most of his life challenging the author¬ ity of his brother, Jonathan Molapo. Due to the mental condition of Molapo’s eldest son of the first house, Josefa, Molapo selected Jonathan, the second son of his first house, as his successor. With Molapo’s death on the eve of the Gun War, a succession struggle emerged between Joel and Jonathan. Joel, who was older than Jona¬ than, believed that he should succeed his father. During the Gun War, Joel and Jonathan found themselves on oppo¬ site sides of the conflict, with Joel being a “rebel,” while Jonathan remained loyal to the British. Joel’s decision to “rebel” was in part at the behest of Letsie I, and as a vehicle to challenge Jonathan’s authority. Supported by his brothers and cousins, Joel was able to drive Jonathan out of his home at Tsikoane and gain control over the region. However, after the war, Jonathan was once again recognized as senior. The conclusion of the Gun War did not bring an end to the hostilities between the two brothers, as they fought from 1882 to 1885. Finally defeated in 1885, Joel’s authority was restricted to Qalo. During the Anglo-Boer War, Joel was one of the few chiefs to allow Afrikaners to settle in their territories; he did not support the Afrikaners’ struggle against the British, but hoped to use the conflict to oust Jonathan. Joel’s plan was unsuccessful, and he was ultimately fined and imprisoned for one year by the British. Tensions between the two brothers never disappeared, and in 1914 Jonathan led an un¬ provoked attack against Joel. Jonathan’s raid procured large numbers of cattle, goats, sheep, and horses. Despite the colonial government’s condemnation of the raid and their forcing Jonathan to pay £8,000 in compensation, Jonathan was still able to profit from his adventure. As part of Moshoeshoe’s efforts to unify the houses of his three main sons, Joel married one of Letsie I’s daughters. An excellent fighter, Joel played an important role in the defense of his grand-


father, Moshoeshoe, during the Seqiti War. Joel and his brother Jon¬ athan were some of the first chiefs to allow Indian traders to open stores in their districts. These stores provided competition to Euro¬ pean traders and resulted in lower prices. See also LEPATLAPATLE. JONATHAN, LEABUA JOSEPH (1914-1987). Frequently underes¬ timated by his opponents because of his meager formal education and junior ranking within the chieftainship, Leabua Jonathan governed Lesotho from 1965 through 1985. His survival as prime minister de¬ pended on self-taught political skills in adjusting to unexpected cir¬ cumstances and in turning devastating setbacks to advantage. Bom to a junior wife of Chief Jonathan Molapo, Leabua Jona¬ than was one of many great-grandsons of Moshoeshoe, founder of the Basotho nation, and a cousin of Lesotho’s king. After completing standard 6 of primary school, he migrated to South Africa where he worked underground as a miner. He was promoted to compound leader responsible for maintaining order and settling disputes. Upon returning to Lesotho, he served in the administration of the Tsikoane ward, became a headman at Rakolo in the Leribe District, and worked for the National Treasury recovering stray and stolen cattle. Jonathan’s interest in customary law led to his appointment as asses¬ sor for Judicial Commissioner Patrick Duncan, a leading South Afri¬ can liberal. Long discussions with Duncan on their extensive travels around Basutoland honed Jonathan’s interest in and knowledge of regional political issues. He gained further political experience as a member of the Basutoland National Council and later as one of the chosen advisors of Regent Paramount Chieftainess ’Mantsebo Seeiso. Although he had attended Paris Evangelical Mission Soci¬ ety (PEMS) schools, Jonathan joined the Roman Catholic Church after interaction with priests who worked with the regent, who was a devout Catholic. Jonathan s active involvement in partisan politics began during two visits to London, the first in 1957 as part of a delegation sent to protest the appointment of the South African Allen Geoffrey Turnstall Chaplin as resident commissioner and the second in 1958 as a member of the Constitutional Reform Commission. In the first in¬ stance he also attended a summer conference on African administra¬ tion at Cambridge University with Gabriel Manyeli, a Catholic


Jonathan, leabua Joseph • 127

teacher and fellow member of the National Council Reform Commis¬ sion. Ironically Ntsu Mokhehle had supported his selection to this delegation since Jonathan had initially sympathized with the anticolonial objectives of the Basutoland African Congress (BAC). How¬ ever, lengthy conversations between Manyeli and Jonathan and strong encouragement from Patrick Duncan brought them to agree¬ ment that a conservative alternative to the Congress movement was needed. During his 1958 visit Jonathan persuaded Chiefs Patrick ’Mota, Kelebone Nkuebe, and George Bereng and later Manyeli that a National Party could better mobilize chiefs, commoners, and Prot¬ estants than the mooted Christian Democratic Party linked closely to the Catholic Church. He also consulted with and received the infor¬ mal support of the Regent ’Mantsebo. With the founding of the Ba¬ sotho National Party (BNP) in April 1959, Chief Jonathan had only a short interval to demonstrate his leadership prior to the 1960 elec¬ tion. Because of the BNP debacle at the polls and residual doubts about Chief Jonathan’s capabilities, Catholic clergy led by Father M. Gareau created ’Mesa-Mohloane as an alternative to the BNP. Despite this diversion of energy and resources from his party, Jonathan per¬ sisted in his efforts to build a competitive political party on his own terms. Jonathan’s dogged determination and ebullient self-confi¬ dence made the history of BNP and its policies for the following two decades very much the embodiment of its leader’s strategies and per¬ sonality. Once Jonathan gained a platform when the paramount chief appointed him to fill a vacancy in the Basutoland National Council, he engaged in what he called “constructive opposition” to the fail¬ ings of the BCP-controlled district councils, supported the enfran¬ chisement of women, led protest marches of unemployed workers, and called for constitutional advance for Lesotho. Despite the appar¬ ent weaknesses of his party, he shunned coalitions with other politi¬ cal groups that might dilute his leadership and the BNP message. During the 1965 election campaign, he turned to his advantage his opponents’ criticisms of his lack of formal education and his accep¬ tance of assistance from South African sources. He portrayed himself as a practical man who could deliver the substantive economic and political improvements that the militant rhetoric of his better-edu¬ cated rivals would preclude. The evidence was the electoral support


and, later, grain for famine relief from South Africa that Jonathan considered only the down payment on future assistance. Jonathan proved himself to be a powerful speaker able to fuse traditional and modem images in his leadership style. At a huge BNP rally in Ma¬ seru, Chief Jonathan arrived at the head of a column of men on horseback, doffing his homburg to the crowd and wearing a leopardskin cape over his formal blue suit. The ability of this portly, poorly educated, and very junior chief to surmount early political setbacks, prevail over more powerful chiefs and urban sophisticates, and ex¬ tract resources from South African whites appeared little short of mi¬ raculous to many BNP supporters. Jonathan was perceived to be a charismatic leader. Jonathan’s subsequent political career became a continuing battle for survival throughout which his enemies constantly underestimated his political skills to their great detriment. Because he had lost his constituency to Gauda Khasu, the same man who had defeated him in 1960, Jonathan had to persuade a BNP member with a safe seat to resign, so he could win a by-election and thereby become eligible to be prime minister. When two further BNP seats were vacated by the High Court due to alleged electoral irregularities, Jonathan kept his parliamentary majority by persuading a member of the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) to cross the aisle and then winning both byelections. Getting the independence motion through Parliament against adamant resistance by the opposition parties and King Moshoeshoe II required a combination of persuasion, litigation, and sheer persistence. Immediately after independence Jonathan sur¬ mounted a concerted effort by the king and BCP to undermine his government and used lethal force at Thaba Bosiu to suppress what he took to be a dangerous insurrection (see THABA BOSIU AF¬ FAIR). Constant duress from what he considered an obstructive opposi¬ tion led him to a dangerous dependence on foreign advisors. These included seconded civil servants from South Africa placed in high administrative and judicial positions; South African industrialists like Anton Ruppert, whose colleague Owen Horwood headed the Lesotho National Development Corporation; and Jonathan’s constitutional consultant, Dennis Cowen, a professor from the University of Cape Town. Chief Jonathan s ability to survive against the odds reinforced his own characteristic overconfidence and led him to assume that


small economic successes would certainly lead to an increased elec¬ toral mandate in 1970. When the BNP was defeated, Jonathan alleg¬ edly was prepared to hand over power to Ntsu Mokhehle and his victorious BCP. Although his decision to suspend the Constitution and annul the election is frequently blamed on obdurate subordinates like Sekhonyana ’Maseribane, Jonathan set in motion the prece¬ dents that led to an endemic insurgency, frequent violations of human rights, military rule, and the manipulative attitudes toward electoral processes that created anarchy and external intervention in 1998 (see ELECTIONS and REGIONAL INTERVENTIONS). Still, Jonathan’s genius for decisive action, political manipulation, and opportunistic survival strategies was repeatedly evident during the following 15 years of illegal BNP rule. Thinking that Jonathan would have to build a coalition government with his opponents to sustain diplomatic recognition and foreign aid, Mokhehle agreed to abrogate the 1970 election that he had won. When the aid flow re¬ sumed without his making any concessions, Jonathan was able to persuade dissident opposition politicians to participate in an ap¬ pointed Interim National Assembly that was expected to, but never did, create new institutions and restore constitutional rule. Thereafter he coopted into his Cabinet various civil servants and lesser opposi¬ tion leaders like Gerard Ramoreboli, Charles Mofeli, and Patrick Lehloenya to provide needed legitimacy and expertise and then he discarded them as soon as they outlived their usefulness. He used decisive and frequently brutal force to crush the BCP failed coup of 1974 and against the Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) insurgents who began their assault with South African connivance in 1979. He persuaded BCP exiles like Koenyama Chakela, who were disaf¬ fected from Mokhehle’s leadership or opposed mounting an armed insurgency, to return home to lead a divided and ineffectual internal opposition. His greatest tour de force was recognizing the political liability that his close association with South Africa had created. His volteface led to a campaign of constant criticism of South Africa, estab¬ lishment of close ties with the African National Congress (ANC) and its refugees in Lesotho, and development of diplomatic linkages with communist states that placed communist embassies in Maseru. In 1976, South Africa turned its border posts with eastern Lesotho over to the new Transkei government that Jonathan refused to recognize.


Lesotho complained in the United Nations Security Council that this illegal act effectively closed the border and inflicted great hardship on the Basotho people. Portraying Lesotho as a “behind the lines” state, Jonathan took advantage of the desire of Western powers to do something about apartheid without directly confronting South Af¬ rica. Significant increases in aid to Lesotho were the result and the increased presence of Western donors seemed temporarily to deter vigorous South African reprisals. Jonathan’s stratagems frequently caused conflict with his BNP comrades, especially anticommunist Catholic conservatives, but his uncanny ability to weather all storms brought most of them back to the fold. As conflict with South Africa escalated, Jonathan’s delicate bal¬ ancing act eventually began to come undone. An emergency meeting in 1980 with South African president P. W. Botha on the Peka Bridge border crossing failed to turn the tide as Jonathan rejected participa¬ tion in Botha’s regional constellation of states, refused to sign a non¬ aggression pact, and declined to expel or hand over ANC refugees. This set the stage for the military intervention by South Africa, be¬ ginning with the Defence Force raid on alleged refugee bases and safe houses in Maseru that resulted in 42 deaths, including many citi¬ zens of Lesotho. Despite United Nations (UN) condemnation and donor protests, South African efforts to destabilize Jonathan’s regime intensified and included delays in transferring customs revenues and goods, stoppages of border traffic, continuing support for LLA incur¬ sions, and suspension of negotiations on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Jonathan reluctantly yielded to pressure to airlift ANC refugees to distant African states, but continued to expand link¬ ages and receive amis from communist states like North Korea. He tried to regain legitimacy through elections, but the refusal of the op¬ position to participate in what they considered a charade further un¬ dermined his credibility. He became more dependent on his military forces while his policies placed them in greater jeopardy. When the military intervened in January 1986, his more militant Cabinet minis¬ ters had insufficient means to support him whereas the more conser¬ vative and opportunistic ones seemed ready to find their niche with the new power holders {see MILITARY COUP OF 1986). In the end, Jonathan s administration collapsed because it had overreached its capabilities, discarded much of the conservative ideo-



logical agenda supported by its members, become stale and corrupt, and depended too much on the ability of its aging leader to keep working political miracles. Following his ouster as prime minister-. Chief Jonathan was kept under surveillance by the Military Council, but he was not jailed or subjected to personal indignities. He died of stomach cancer only a year later in 1987.

JONATHAN, LYDIA THIKHOI (1951-). A scientist and educator, Thikhoi Jonathan gained her Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry in 1983 from Aston University in England after completing her B.SC. honors degree in chemistry there in 1979. She has served as pro-vice chan¬ cellor, the second-ranking administrative position, at the National University of Lesotho. Her responsibilities included the develop¬ ment and improvement of academic programs and faculty. She is a member of the Third World Organization for Women in Science. She has published articles and papers entitled “The Role of Women in Nation-Building during the Moshoeshoe Era and After,” “Women in Science and Technology: A Case for Lesotho,” and “The Role of Women in Natural Resources Conservation.” Jonathan has been a strong advocate of the importance to national development of open¬ ing Lesotho’s political system and professions to women. She has received recognition in the International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women. As the fifth child of the late Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan, she credited him for emphasizing the crucial importance of educa¬ tion, but has observed that her academic performance and achieve¬ ments have been entirely her own doing. She completed her primary and lower secondary education at Catholic schools in Maseru and Roma and her advanced-level secondary work at Bath Technical Col¬ lege in the United Kingdom.

JONATHAN MOLAPO (ca. 1844-1928). The second son of Molapo’s principal wife, ’Ma Mosa, was Molapo’s chosen successor due to Josefa’s mental illness. During the Seqiti War, he fought alongside his father until Molapo made peace with the Orange Free State in 1866. In 1873, Jonathan participated in two military actions. First he led a campaign in the mountain region of Sehonghong against the last independent Baroa community living in Lesotho.


Later that year, at the request of his father, Jonathan tracked down and offered protection to Langalibalele, the renegade Amahlubi chief, only to turn him over to the colonial authorities in return for a percentage of Langalibalele’s cattle. In 1879, Jonathan continued on a pattern of cooperation with the colonial administration when he helped them defeat Moorosi after his 1879 rebellion. Just before the eruption of the Gun War, Molapo died, triggering a succession dispute between two of his sons. In 1880 Jonathan suc¬ ceeded his father as chief of Leribe. Joel, first son of the second house and older than Jonathan, believed that he should succeed his father instead of Jonathan. The power struggle manifested itself dur¬ ing the Gun War, with Jonathan remaining loyal to the British, while Joel fought against the colonial authorities. In 1880, driven from Tsikoane, Jonathan was forced to take refuge with Major Charles Bell at Hlotse Heights. Jonathan’s decision to remain loyal seemed to fol¬ low a pattern of cooperation with Europeans. It has also been sug¬ gested that his decision to remain loyal was in line with a request made by Paramount Chief Letsie I. Although the Gun War ended in 1881, Joel and Jonathan continued to fight until 1885. After the war, Jonathan, the senior chief in the region, found his territory under the control of his half-brother. In 1882, citing his position as senior chief, Jonathan was able to rally his forces and defeat Joel. Not content with destroying his village, Jonathan pursued Joel for three more years before allowing him to settle at Qalo. The animosity between Jonathan and Joel never dissi¬ pated, and in 1914 Jonathan ordered an unprovoked attack on Joel, successfully raiding numerous livestock. Forced to pay a fine of £8,000 for his aggression, Jonathan still prospered because the value of the livestock exceeded the fine. By the beginning of the 20th century, Jonathan began to oppose the growing power of Lerotholi and the position of paramount chief. This, along with his favorable perception of Europeans, led him to become one of the first chiefs to support the idea of a Basutoland

National Council. Jonathan believed that the National Council would both check the power of the paramount and be a tool of ad¬ vancement for the Basotho. In 1905 he sought to reduce the para¬ mount chief s power by having Letsie II sign a document stating that he would respect the rights and property of others. He also sought



greater representation for the Basotho people in the National Council by recommending that it be split into two houses, one composed of chiefs and the other of commoners. Although these proposals were rejected by the National Council and colonial government, his idea for greater representation in the Council would be taken up by later generations. After the death of Letsie II, Jonathan opposed the installation of Griffith Lerotholi as next paramount. Jonathan cited custom as the reason for his opposition to Griffith. However, it is also evident that Jonathan hoped to use the succession crisis to weaken the position of paramount by nominating the weaker Motsoene to succeed Letsie II. Jonathan’s recalcitrance led to a confrontation with Griffith shortly after his coronation. When Jonathan refused to meet Griffith at Matsieng, the paramount was forced to display a large number of troops to convince Jonathan. However, the increasingly stubborn Jonathan only went as far as Maseru to meet the paramount. Jonathan’s sub¬ version of Griffith continued in 1915 during a botched attempt to im¬ port weapons. In 1916, he tried a more direct approach when he petitioned the high commissioner to make Leribe a separate colony. After these failed attempts, Jonathan withdrew to Leribe, and did not attend a meeting of the National Council for five years. In 1922, he was believed to be behind a plot to place Chief Makhaola Lerotholi on the throne. That same year Jonathan returned to the National Council; however, he did not contribute to the discussion on the pro¬ posed colonial reforms. Just as his succession was marred by strife by refusing to name an heir, Jonathan opened the door for a similar struggle at his own death. His sons Mathealira and Motsarapane fought over seniority and the right to succeed their father. However, they were not alone as Chief Tau, whom Jonathan had fathered for Josefa, and his cousin Mo¬ tsoene, who had been denied the throne, believed that they should be Chief of Leribe. After his death, the chiefs selected Motsoene as the next Chief of Leribe. Filling the role of senior son of Molapo’s first house and grandson of Moshoeshoe, Jonathan was bom into a position of power. Recog¬ nizing his importance, Moshoeshoe included him in his plan to unify his descendants by having him marry a daughter of his third son, Ma-

sopha. Throughout his life, Jonathan remained one of the most pow-


erful chiefs in Lesotho. It should also be noted that one of his youngest children, by a lesser wife, was Leabua Jonathan.

JOSEFA MOLAPO. Eldest son of Molapo (Moshoeshoe’s second son) senior wife, by birth he was positioned to succeed his father. In an attempt to ease the strain between his two eldest sons and unify his descendants, Moshoeshoe arranged for Josefa to marry Senate, the only child of Letsie (Moshoeshoe’s senior son) first wife. Be¬ cause Josefa did not pay bohali, any children from this union would belong to the house of Letsie, and be theoretically in line for the throne. This placed their son, Motsoene, in his mother’s descent line. In January 1870 Moshoeshoe twice announced his desire for Josefa’s son to succeed Letsie I. This plan was doomed to fail not only be¬ cause of its unprecedented nature but also because of Josefa’s mental condition. This disability had surfaced by the mid-1850s and was enough to permit his younger brother, Jonathan, to be named as their father’s successor. His mental condition prohibited him from playing a meaningful role in national politics. See also LEPATLAPATLE.


KENELA. The practice of a widow being forced to accept one of her deceased husband’s brothers as her new spouse. This practice keeps the bohali with her birth family and allows in extreme cases for a brother to father a child for the deceased. Also, by marrying the brother of her husband, the widow retains rights to her fields. In gen¬ eral, this practice is done for social reasons and rarely involves inti¬ macy between the two.


KHAKETLA, BENNETT MAKALO (1913-2000). B. M. Khaketla will be remembered as a distinguished novelist, playwright, poet, lin¬ guist, teacher, journalist, and politician. Bom in Qacna’s Nek, a re¬ mote mountainous portion of Lesotho, he began his schooling in


Basutoland, but soon moved to South Africa where he received his primary teacher’s certificate at Mariazell in 1932. He began his.' teaching career at St. Patrick’s Anglican School in Bloemfontein (1933-1939). He held many teaching positions in Lesotho and South Africa, including service at Basutoland High School (1946-1950), and as principal of Charterson High School in Nigel (1951-1952). While teaching, he studied privately to complete secondary school and then received his B.A. in politics and Sesotho (1942) by corre¬ spondence at the University of South Africa. He returned perma¬ nently to Lesotho in 1952, where he resumed teaching at Basutoland High School in Maseru. Always energetic, Khaketla published his first novel, Meokho ea Thabo (Tears of Joy), in 1951. By the mid-1950s, he had also pub¬ lished three plays, Tholoana tsa Sethepu (The Fruits of Polygyny)', its sequel, Bulane; and Moshoeshoe le Baruti (Moshoeshoe and the Missionaries)', a book of Sesotho poetry, Lipshamathe (Literary Morsels)', and two textbooks on Sesotho language and grammar. But soon his literary talents turned to shaip, biting, and sophisticated En¬ glish and Sesotho political prose as Khaketla became caught up in Lesotho’s modern nationalist struggle, challenging the legitimacy and policies of the British colonial regime. Khaketla had gotten his initiation into politics by serving as a dis¬ trict councilor and member of the Basutoland National Council during his first stint at Basutoland High School. Together with Ntsu

Mokhehle, the future prime minister; Z. L. Mothopeng; and Dr. M. Maema, a prominent leader of the Basutoland Progressive Associa¬ tion, Khaketla founded and became editor of a militant periodical called Mohlabani (The Warrior) in 1954 (see NEWSPAPERS). Mohlabani had a profound impact upon British administrators, expatriate clergy, and politically conscious Basotho, shattering forever the colo¬ nial image of the Basotho as a servile people, content with their lot and immune from the anticolonial forces sweeping the African conti¬ nent. Branded political agitators because of their pungent critique of the British colonial lifestyle, they were dismissed from their teaching positions and banned from Maseru. Both the new Basutoland Afri¬

can Congress (BAC) (the precursor of the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP)) and Mohlabani survived this assault with the help of


Patrick Duncan, a progressive South African who facilitated its print¬ ing in Cape Town. Following the 1960 election, Khaketla became a member of the new Legislative Council. Because the Council majority was con¬ trolled by chiefs, appointed members, and British officials, Khaketla was selected as the member of the Executive Council responsible for education and health. Any illusions that Khaketla, the BCP deputy leader, would serve as the watchdog for BCP interests on a body from which the head of the party had been excluded were quickly shat¬ tered. The oath of secrecy required of Executive Council members together with the emoluments of office made Khaketla especially vulnerable. Although Mokhehle had no stake in the government ex¬ cept as a platform for further agitation, Khaketla had every incentive to view these new institutions as capable of producing tangible social gains. Hence Mokhehle’s biting comments about Khaketla’s Euro¬ pean style of dress, ownership of a car, and tendency to place church attendance ahead of party functions were intended to prove that Kha¬ ketla had sold out to the colonial regime. In 1961 Khaketla and several others, disaffected from Mokhehle’s authoritarian leadership, broke with the BCP and founded the Basu¬ toland Freedom Party. As a democratic African politician, he was a sponsored participant in a prestigious summer seminar for promising Third World leaders at Harvard University’s Center for International Studies in 1962. He also became chairman of the First Council of the

University of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland, created in 1964. The Freedom Party merged with S. S. Matete’s MaremaTlou Party in late 1962 as a coalition of militants and principal chiefs who agreed that they should work with the paramount chief to check the potentially despotic tendencies within the BCP leadership. For a while, a Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) victory in the 1965 election seemed possible, but this fragile coalition proved inad¬ equate to the task. By 1970, the vast majority of the public perceived the MFP as irrelevant to the electoral battle between BCP and BNP. Serving as MFP secretary-general, Khaketla continued to publish Mohlabani when funding was available. Following Leabua Jona¬ than s illegal decision not to surrender power, Khaketla found him¬ self under house arrest. He used this time to write Lesotho 1970: An African Coup under the Microscope, a scathing commentary on



Chief Jonathan’s rule and Basotho political evolution. This book ex¬ posed the world to the deft and often witty critiques published irt Mohlabani. As a political outsider from 1970 until the military coup of 1986, Khaketla played a leading role in the group, creating a new Sesotho translation of the Bible that was published in 1989. Khaketla’s close ties with Moshoeshoe II led to his appointment in 1986 as minister of justice and prisons under the military regime (see MILITARY COUNCIL). However, his independent approach did not endear him to the Military Council and he was replaced. Dur¬ ing the 1993 elections Khaketla became the MFP candidate for the National Assembly in the same seat as Ntsu Mokhehle, but was thor¬ oughly trounced. He was appointed to the Council of State that ad¬ vises the monarch, a position similar to the role of privy councilor that he had held under the 1966 Constitution. After the 1998 election, he received a royal appointment to the Senate, the upper house of

Parliament. Khaketla’s many achievements were recognized when the Na¬ tional University of Lesotho awarded him an honorary doctorate of literature in 1996. His wife, ’Masechele Khaketia, a leading educa¬ tionist and author, had received the same award in 1983, a first for a husband-and-wife team. Khaketla died of cancer in January 2000.

KHAKETLA, ’MASECHELE CAROLINE NTSELISENG (1918-). ’Masechele Khaketla has had a notable career as teacher and author. In 1941, she became the first Mosotho woman to receive a B.A. de¬ gree. She was bom in the Berea District and did her primary school¬ ing at Liphiring and Siloe in the Mohale’s Hoek District, completing with a rare first-class pass. She completed her secondary schooling in Morija. She began her teaching career at Thabana Morena in 1942 and from 1943 to 1950 taught at Basutoland High School in Maseru where she met her husband, Bennett Makalo Khaketla. When he was dismissed from his position because of his political activities, they moved to teach briefly in Nigel, South Africa. Upon his return to a political career in Lesotho in 1953, she resumed teaching at Ba¬ sutoland High School until her retirement in 1984. Among her pupils was the current Queen Mother, ’Mamohato. Thereafter she founded and managed Iketsetseng Private School in Maseru, where one of her pupils was King Letsie III.

138 • KHOI

’Masechele Khaketla wrote 11 books and collections of poetry in Sesotho, including ’Mantsopa le Molamu oa Kotjane, Mosiuoa Masilo, Mosali eo o ’Neileng Eena, Pelo ea Monna, Ka u Lotha, Mahlopha a Senya, Ho Isa Lefung, Molekane ea Tsoanang le Eena, Khotsoaneng, and Selibelo sa Nkhono. In 1979 she became the first Mosotho woman to be appointed as an assessor in the High Court. She has served on the University Council of the National University of Lesotho and on the National Planning Board of the government of Lesotho. She has been an active participant in the Special Com¬ mittee on the Status of Women on the Law Reform Commission. She has been active in the Anglican Church and especially in its Mothers’ Union. In 1983 ’Masechele was the first Mosotho to be awarded an honorary doctorate of literature by the National University of Leso¬ tho. She also received the Gold Record of Achievement award of the American Biographical Institute in 1997 for her distinguished contri¬ butions in the field of literature.

KHOI (Khoikhoi). With the Baroa, the Khoi comprised two of the earliest human population groups in southern Africa. They herded cattle in the region as early as 2000 b.c.e., but lost their pastures after 1652 to European encroachment. Migrating east into the interior of southern Africa, they intermarried with the Amaxhosa. Khoi who settled the Orange River valley, as well as areas north, forged new identities as Namaqua (Namakhoi) or Kora (Koranna). The tendency of white newcomers to mistakenly conflate the Khoi with the Baroa led to the term “Hottentot,” a comprehensive and derogatory Euro¬ pean term used for both groups. Early white observers recorded vague, often inaccurate physical and cultural differentiation between the two, with linguistic analyses pointing to common as well as sepa¬ rate origins. Nonetheless, observations consistently described the Khoi as generally taller than the Baroa and as speaking a distinct lan¬ guage. Initial accounts also testified to a different economy. Whereas the Baroa maintained small, hunting-gathering units, the Khoi lived in larger communities based on herding. See also GRIQUA.

KHOKANYANA PHIRI (PEOPLE WITH A COMMON PURPOSE) ALLIANCE. The Khokanyana Phiri Alliance emerged in the In¬ terim Political Authority (IPA) in 1999 as a counterweight to the



opposition Setlamo Alliance. Minor parties like the Popular Front for Democracy and Chief Peete Peete’s National Progressive Party, which had split from the Basotho National Party (BNP), joined with the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) to oppose Setlamo initiatives.

KHOLU. A Mofokeng by birth, Kholu was the daughter of Masekoane and the mother of the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. According to oral tradition, the Mokoteli chief, Mokhachane, abducted Kholu from her village. Their marriage produced five children, with Lepoqo (Moshoeshoe) the firstborn son. Preceded by an older sister, Mo¬ shoeshoe also had a younger sister and two brothers named Makha-

bane and Posholi. KHOTLA. The “traditional” court of the Basotho. The khotla is usu¬ ally situated in the chief’s compound or at a nearby natural setting such as a large tree or formation of rocks. While hearing cases at the khotla, the chief is surrounded by his advisors. After listening to both sides, the chief will consult his advisors prior to rendering a decision. In return for this service, the loser of the case pays a fine to the court in addition to whatever damages were paid to the other party. The khotla served as a center of village life, a gathering place where important matters were discussed and communal work was conducted.

KING. The appropriate role for the monarch in the independence era has been one of the most contentious issues in Lesotho’s constitu¬ tional evolution. In Sesotho, the title of the ranking indigenous au¬ thority is Morena e Moholo, translated literally as the “great provider” (for the community). The British called this individual the paramount chief, a title that persisted throughout the colonial period. For the first time, the 1966 Constitution described independent Leso¬ tho’s new head of state as “king” with the honorific title Motlotlehi, meaning “one worthy of praise.” This document, however, made the king a constitutional monarch with only a few discretionary roles and gave executive power to the elected prime minister and legislative power to Parliament. Since his installation as paramount chief in 1960, Moshoeshoe II

140 • KING

had struggled unsuccessfully to gain substantial executive authority for the monarch, including formal command of the Security Forces and the ability to check possible abuse of power by the elected gov¬ ernment. He received some support from the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP), but even many supposed royalists wanted to be able to have full executive authority, should they win power at the polls. When his supporters were routed in the 1965 elections, Moshoeshoe II aligned himself with the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), which attempted to undercut the Basotho National Party (BNP) government by supporting the king’s efforts to gain a greater role. Fearing continued confrontation between the king and Prime Minis¬ ter Leabua Jonathan, the British inserted a provision in the Consti¬ tution permitting the prime minister to act on behalf of the king should he fail or decline to fulfill his responsibilities as a constitu¬ tional monarch. Moshoeshoe II’s dismay at this further erosion of his discretion led to his disastrous confrontation with his government in the Thaba Bosiu Affair, even further weakening his authority. Jona¬ than’s illegal retention of power in 1970 resulted in the king being exiled to Europe. When permitted to return, he was required to fol¬ low his government’s dictates, including living in the new royal pal¬ ace in Maseru and donning the nontraditional military uniform designed for him, both of which he detested. Following the military coup of 1986, it appeared that the king shared executive power with the Military Council. On the one hand, the relevant proclamation defining the nature of the new system stated that executive and legislative authority were vested in the king and could be exercised by him “either directly or through the Mili¬ tary Council.” On the other, it provided that he should exercise his functions “in accordance with the advice of the Military Council.” Close associates of Moshoeshoe II held important Cabinet posts, and the monarch seemed able to speak independently on strategies for development and other important issues. Moshoeshoe II envisioned a future participatory political structure without political parties, similar to the roles played by the Basutoland National Council dur¬ ing the colonial period, where chiefs and commoners would advise but not control the executive monarch. However, the men with guns put an end to such dreams when General Metsing Lekhanya sacked the king’s allies, exiled Moshoeshoe II, and finally dethroned him




after he continued to refuse to comply with Lekhanya’s instructions. Under Lekhanya’s successor, Phisoana Ramaema, and during the democratically elected government of Ntsu Mokhehle after 1993, Moshoeshoe II lived in Lesotho as Chief Bereng Seeiso and his son, Letsie III, remained king. Letsie Ill’s coup succeeded in reinstating his father as king, but failed to remove the Mokhehle government or enhance royal powers. After his father’s death, Letsie Ill’s tacit sup¬ port for the Setlamo coalition that mounted the insurrection of 1998 further weakened any chance that the monarch would play a larger executive role. Letsie III remains king under the 1993 constitutional arrangements that left him less discretion than the monarch possessed in 1966. Most of his powers must be exercised in accordance with the advice of his prime minister and Cabinet. However, other powers where he previously had some latitude, like the appointment of senators and dissolution of Parliament, must now be exercised in accordance with the advice of the Council of State. This body includes the prime min¬ ister and three persons appointed pursuant to his advice, but also two judges of the High Court, the speaker of the National Assembly, the attorney general, the commanders of the Defence and Police Forces, a member of the legal profession, and two opposition members of the National Assembly. While not under the control of the incumbent government, this institution attempts to ensure that royal actions re¬ flect the approval of a broad spectrum of the public sector.

KOLANE, JOHN TEBOHO (1926-1999). For almost three decades J. T. Kolane, popularly known as Joki, presided over debates on the most contested issues in highly controversial legislative institutions without losing the respect of the bitterly divided political protago¬ nists. He received his primary education in Maseru and secondary education at various schools in The Eastern Cape and Natal. He then had the distinction of becoming the first Mosotho graduate of Pius XII University College in 1948 with a B.A. in English, political phi¬ losophy, and native administration, and he qualified as an attorney through the University of South Africa. Amiable and multidimen¬ sional as a student and professional, he played soccer and tennis and was a trumpet player in a popular dance band called Varsity Downbeats.


In 1950, he began his career in the civil service with posts as an interpreter and prosecutor. He became assistant clerk of the National Assembly under Moses Tlebere and, at independence, clerk of the Senate. A relatively brief period in the executive branch followed when he served as permanent secretary for justice and the Cabinet and then secretary of the Emergency Operations Committee after Chief Leabua Jonathan’s decision to remain in power in 1970. Kolane became speaker of the Interim National Assembly in 1973 when Jonathan sought to re-create parliamentary legitimacy. He served as speaker of the Constituent Assembly from 1990 to 1992 during the transition from military to civilian rule. He continued as speaker of the elected National Assembly from 1993 until his death. Throughout, he retained his reputation as an evenhanded conciliator. During the military regime, he was Lesotho’s high commissioner (ambassador) in London from 1986 to 1989 (see MILITARY COUN¬ CIL). He received an honorary doctorate of laws from the National University of Lesotho in 1985. When he died of a heart attack, Kolane was attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Meeting in Accra, Ghana. He was the longest-serving African speaker and had been honored there as the doyen of Commonwealth speakers by his colleagues and Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings.

KOLISANG, GODFREY ’MOLOTSI (1924-) Although G. M. Kolisang has not held a senior government position in Lesotho, he was called upon to serve as secretary-general of the Basutoland Con¬ gress Party (BCP) when a calm and competent administrator was most needed. Bom in Qacha’s Nek, he received his primary and sec¬ ondary education in South Africa. He taught intermittently at several high schools in Lesotho amidst stints at Fort Hare to complete his B.A. degree. G. M. joined the Basutoland African Congress move¬ ment in 1955 and served as secretary-general from 1960 to 1967. He was elected to the Basutoland National Council and the Maseru District Council in 1960. Because of his lucidity and academic cre¬ dentials, he represented the party at United Nations (UN) and African-Asian Solidarity Conferences. He was appointed to the Senate after losing his constituency in the 1965 election. Kolisang, who ab¬ horred violent solutions and was perceived to be a somewhat conser¬ vative nationalist rather than militant pan-Africanist, was replaced as




secretary-general by the flamboyant but disorganized Koenyama

Chakela. At that point, Kolisang decided to study law at the University of

Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (UBLS). His efforts were inter¬ rupted by Leabua Jonathan’s illegal retention of power. Kolisang was sent abroad to urge aid donors and African states to pressure the Basotho National Party (BNP) leader to negotiate the restoration of constitutional government. But Kolisang’s rational, low-key ap¬ proach did not achieve the desired result, so the BCP leadership turned to violence in the failed coup of 1974 and in creating the Le¬ sotho Liberation Army (LLA). Meanwhile Kolisang completed his LL.B. and went into private practice. With BCP supporters confused by the competing claims to leadership by Chakela and Ramoreboli and by the actions of the LLA, Ntsu Mokhehle appointed Kolisang as BCP secretary-general in 1980 to keep the internal wing of the party on a steady course and neutralize the competing factions. As the struggle between the Maporesha and Majelathoko Fac¬ tions emerged in 1964, Kolisang gained sufficient Maporesha sup¬ port to supplant Shakhane Mokhehle as secretary-general. Under his leadership, party conferences of affiliated youth and women’s groups were held and BCP branches in South Africa resumed func¬ tioning. His efforts to provide proper reports and efficient adminis¬ tration foundered as factional conflict escalated, leading to the exodus of the Majelathoko supporters to form the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). When the BCP remnant itself became em¬ broiled in further factionalism, Kolisang again concentrated on his private legal practice. The availability of this alternative has made him unlike most Basotho politicians for whom the emoluments of office have been an all-or-nothing economic necessity.


KORA (also Korana or Koranna). From the mid-18th century, groups of Khoi inhabited the Orange River valley. Known as Kora, they left their original home in the Cape to escape European expan¬ sion. They spoke a Khoikhoi dialect and herded cattle in the semiarid conditions of their new environment. Some Kora intermarried with


their southern Setswana-speaking neighbors, and others raided nearby communities to seize both cattle and children. The upheavals associated with the lifaqane particularly stimulated raiding activity in the early decades of the 19th century. See also BAROA; GRIQUA.

KOROKORO. Name of a plateau and the village located on it. Korokoro is situated approximately halfway between Matsieng and Roma, and it is also about halfway between Matsieng and Thaba Bosiu. It was at Korokoro in 1868 that Philip Wodehouse explained the terms of the Treaty of Aliwal North to the Basotho. It was also the site of the first national pitso in 1886. See MAAMA LETSIE.

KROTZ, ADAM. In the early 1830s, the Griqua trader Adam Krotz supplied the Basotho chief Moshoeshoe with guns and ammunition. Moshoeshoe perhaps first learned of Christian missionaries through contact with Krotz. Connecting the Griqua strategic advantage over the Basotho to the presence of missionaries, legend states that Mos¬ hoeshoe sent 100 head of cattle to Krotz as payment for missionaries. Marauding Koras evidently stole the cattle, but word of the hopedfor transaction did reach Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS) missionaries Thomas Arbousset, Eugene Casalis, and Constant Gosselin, prompting their arrival at Thaba Bosiu in 1833. See also BASTARDS; BERGENAARS; LIFAQANE; MALIEPOLLO.

- LLAGDEN, GODFREY YEASTMAN (1851—1934). The second resi¬ dent commissioner (1893-1901) in Basutoland, Lagden initially served as secretary to Resident Commissioner Marshal Clarke fol¬ lowing the Disannexation Act. From 1890 to 1892, he assumed tem¬ porary commissioner status. After a brief official residency in Swaziland, in 1893 Lagden returned to Basutoland to replace Clarke. Eight years later, he moved to the Transvaal where he took up duties as commissioner of Native Affairs. Lagden’s book, The Basutos, pro¬ vides insight into late 19th-century colonial perspectives. See also ANNEXATION OF 1868; ANNEXATION OF 1871; COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION; COLONIAL CAMP TOWNS, AND WARDS.




LANGA COMMISSION. In early August 1998, a high-level delega¬ tion from South Africa, including Thabo Mbeki, Alfred Nzo, and Joe Molise, arrived in Lesotho to try to resolve the escalating violence resulting from the opposition challenge to the election results. To de¬ fuse the conflict, they agreed that a committee of electoral experts from Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe with observers from the Commonwealth and United Nations would examine allegations of irregularities and report within two weeks. However, this goodfaith effort by the multinational commission, chaired by South Afri¬ can Constitutional Court Justice Pius Langa, backfired severely. First, some opposition leaders opposed the effort from the outset as unacceptable foreign interference. Second, the process took longer and required far more stages than were expected, leading to endless speculation about the alleged irregularities. Third, release of the final report was delayed for several additional weeks, allegedly so it could be submitted to the heads of state of Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe at the Southern African Development Community

(SADC) Conference in Mauritius. This fueled rumors that it was being altered and watered down to suit those leaders. Fourth, the re¬ port itself was predictably ambiguous. Outsiders who had not ob¬ served the election and lacked understanding of Lesotho’s politics were asked to weigh the welter of charges and evaluate huge quanti¬ ties of electoral materials. They found irregularities, but had no way to know whether these were the result of the incompetence of Leso¬ tho’s Independent Electoral Commission, deliberate fraud, or even inadvertent or deliberate tampering by opposition investigators who had previously conducted court-ordered reviews of the same materi¬ als. Their report concluded in the double negative, “We cannot how¬ ever postulate that the result does not reflect the will of the Lesotho electorate.” The result in Lesotho was a marked increase in the scope and in¬ tensity of internecine conflict with more disruptive and violent dem¬ onstrations and the military increasingly drawn into the conflict following a mutiny against its top officers. Efforts of South African Defence Minister Joe Modise and Minister of Safety and Security Sydney Mufamadi to arbitrate further were fruitless. Lesotho drifted into an anarchic state where the elected government had lost control.


setting the stage for the joint military regional intervention by Bo¬ tswana and South Africa.

LANGALIBALELE. Chief Langalibalele and his Amahlubi follow¬ ers inhabited the slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains near the Baso¬ tho domain. This Amahlubi branch originated in the Klip River region of Natal, but relocated under British pressure in 1849 to the headwaters of the Blaauwkrantz River. In 1873, Langalibalele re¬ fused to register his people’s guns with colonial authorities. Troops dispatched to arrest him prompted him to take refuge in Basutoland. During his flight, his Amahlubi guard further excited colonial author¬ ities by trouncing their pursuers. In Basutoland, Jonathan Molapo, son of Chief Molapo, captured Langalibalele. Following orders from his father, Jonathan turned over the Amahlubi chief to Charles D. Griffith in exchange for booty.

LAW FOR TRADE. On 6 September 1859, the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe, issued a proclamation to promote trade. The law encour¬ aged business dealings in Basutoland but strictly limited to commerce the activities of traders and shopkeepers. It prohibited farming, alienating the land, and established Basotho ownership of any facilities constructed for entrepreneurial purposes. See also ECONOMY.

LAWS OF LEROTHOLI. Although they are cited as being the laws established by Moshoeshoe, this collection of Basotho “customary law” was penned in 1903. Responding to a suggestion in the Basuto¬ land National Council by Resident Commissioner Herbert Sloley that the old laws of Moshoeshoe be written down, 24 men who claimed acquaintance with Moshoeshoe undertook the task of writ¬ ing down his laws. The committee met from 11 to 13 July 1903 and presented its findings before the full council on 14 July. The commit¬ tee oiiginally presented 21 laws before the National Council, which after some debate were pared down to 18. The Laws of Lerotholi covered a variety of political issues from succession to the authorita¬ tive structure existing between chiefs and the Morena e Moholo. The laws also covered inheritance and property rights as well as guaran¬ tees of access to land and legal recourse. One aspect of the Laws that





clearly postdates Moshoeshoe is that the laws concern the relation¬ ship between the chiefs’ courts and the colonial administration’s ju¬ dicial authority.

LAYDEVANT, FRANCOIS (1878-1954). In 1904, the French Roman Catholic missionary Laydevant arrived in Basutoland. A member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.), Father Layde¬ vant founded Emmaus Mission in 1908. During his long tenure, Laydevant wrote and published extensively and edited Moeletsi oa Basotho. His works include two monographs, The Basuto and The Rites of Initiation in Basutoland, as well as several articles including “The Praises of the Divining Bones among the Basotho” and “Etude sur la Famille au Lesotho.” In 1954, Laydevant died at St. Rose in Peka. See also BASOTHO; INITIATION; LITHOKO.

LeBIHAN FALLS. See LeBIHAN, FRANCOIS. LeBIHAN, FRANCOIS (1833-1916). Bom in France, he was one of the first Roman Catholic missionaries to work with the Zulu in 1859. With the closing of the Zulu missions in 1863, he was trans¬ ferred to Roma where he remained for the next eight years. He spent five years, from 1871 to 1876, at the mission in Kimberley before he was transferred back to Basutoland to serve as the superior of the Roma Mission until 1882. While at Roma he initiated the Lesotho National Horse Races, which became a national event. During his travels in 1881 he recorded a 190-meter waterfall along the Maletsunyane River near Semonkong. In 1882, he founded Mount Olivet Mission and later the Samaria Mission where he stayed from 1907 to 1910. In 1910, he returned to Roma, where he died in 1916. He is best remembered for his exploration of Lesotho’s moun¬ tains as well as his efforts to spread the Catholic faith.

LEFELA, JOSIEL (1885-1965). Josiel Lefela was bom in the town of Mapoteng in the Berea district. After completing standard 3, he briefly worked in the South African mines and as a policeman in Bechuanaland. Returning home to Lesotho, Lefela tried his hand at a number of small businesses, at Basotho cultural activities such as or¬ ganizing circumcision schools, and as a traditional doctor (ngaka). Although limited in Western education, Lefela was well versed in Ba-


sotho customs and traditions, and local chiefs often called on him for advice. His political career began in 1916 when he was selected by Chief Peete to take his seat on the Basutoland National Council. That year he proposed the establishment of an association which would provide funds for Basotho injured in South African mines, assistance in returning to Lesotho for both those injured in the mines and a burial service which would return corpses to Lesotho, and debt relief up to £3. This was eventually supported by the National Council in 1919, but a lack of colonial support doomed the idea. Lefela also advocated formation of a Council of Commons akin to the British House of Commons. Since the national pitso had been replaced by the National Council, he argued, the chiefs no longer consulted the people, and the commoners had little voice in the affairs of Lesotho. After World War I, Lefela began to publicly criticize the National Council and the chieftainship for abusing their power and ignoring the people. Although some chiefs in the National Council supported Lefela’s motion, by 1919 it had become clear that the National Coun¬ cil would not support a Council of Commons. Consequently, at a meeting on 27 September 1919 Lefela and his supports gathered to¬ gether in Mapoteng and formed Lekhotla la Bafo (Council of Com¬ moners). Josiel was supported in his efforts by his younger brother of 10 years, Maphutseng Lefela. Maphutseng, who completed Form C at Lovedale in 1919, briefly taught at a Roman Catholic school be¬ fore he joined Lekhotla la Bafo. Maphutseng served as secretary of Lekhotla la Bafo, writing most of the letters dictated by Josiel. The group elected Eleazar Lerata Masupha, a junior son of Masopha, as president from 1919 to 1930. The next president was also a junior relative of Moshoeshoe, Libenyane Jobo, who served from 1930 to 1965. Although Lekhotla la Bafo selected two minor chiefs to serve as their presidents, the real force behind the group was always Josiel Lefela. Few chiefs were supportive of Lefela’s efforts, and most, including Morena e Moholo Griffith Lerotholi, were critical of what they saw as a diiect challenge to their authority. The colonial administration took no action against Lefela until 1 November 1920 when he was expelled fiom the National Council by Resident Commissioner Ed-



ward Garraway. Garraway’s action was punishment for a Septem¬ ber 1920 letter penned by Lefela, “How We Shall Do Away with the Black Races,” which appeared in the newspaper Naledi. Up to this point, Garraway had chosen to ignore Lefela, but the resident com¬ missioner decided to take action in this case because he believed this letter was designed to incite racial tensions and could disrupt the mining industry. Lekhotla la Bafo’s membership may have never surpassed a few thousand, yet it had significant influence among commoners. The central themes of Lekhotla la Bafo revolved around preserving Baso¬ tho political, economic, and cultural institutions from the colonial system. Lekhotla la Bafo was critical of the chiefs while simultane¬ ously defending the institution. Lefela felt that the chiefs no longer politically represented their people and had become economically re¬ pressive. However, he did not blame the chiefs for this, but instead argued that the colonial administration was responsible because it had undermined the chiefs. Therefore, although critical of the chiefs, Lefela was also one of their staunchest supporters, believing that the institution was central to Basotho culture and Lesotho’s continued existence as a nation separate from South Africa. Lekhotla la Bafo wanted the chiefs to return to their precolonial form, which was central to the preservation of their nation and cul¬ ture. In particular, they looked to Moshoeshoe as the embodiment of a precolonial chief as well as father and founder of the nation. Lefela stressed that it was important to look back to Moshoeshoe. One way that they sought to do this was by holding an annual meeting on top of Thaba Bosiu every March 12 to further honor and remember Moshoeshoe. During meetings, Lefela gave speeches that recounted the deeds of Moshoeshoe and told why it was important to remember him. Lefela cited the democratic interchange that Moshoeshoe fos¬ tered as the precedent for the House of Commons he wanted to estab¬ lish. In his critiques of the colonial administration, Lefela often cited Moshoeshoe in his arguments, suggesting that the British were viola¬ ting their agreement with the Basotho leader. In addition to the speeches, several songs honoring the former morena were sung at the beginning and end of the meeting. Lekhotla la Bafo stressed the importance of retaining Basotho cul¬ ture in the light of the colonial and missionary presence. The associa-


tion applied its broader philosophical positions and beliefs to a number of practical matters. In particular, Lekhotla la Bafo bom¬ barded Resident Commissioner Garraway with letters describing var¬ ious grievances. These ranged from the dangerous side effects of sheep dip on Basotho livestock to the difficulty which Basotho trad¬ ers faced in obtaining licenses from the British authorities. Lefela saw both of these as attempts to undermine Basotho economic inde¬ pendence, paving the way for incorporation into South Africa (see TRANSFER QUESTION). Lekhotla la Bafo later extended its criti¬ cisms to particular magistrates and officials who they believed were particularly egregious and racist. As a way of resisting European traders, Lekhotla la Bafo urged its followers to abstain from purchas¬ ing Western goods and encouraged self-help projects. Although both Josiel and Maphutseng Lefela were baptized, Le¬ khotla la Bafo was very critical of missionaries. They complained that missionaries were undermining the social fabric of the Basotho by acculturating them to Western values. In particular, this included the missionaries’ encouragement of wage labor and the consumption of European manufactures. Lastly, the group bitterly complained about mission schools teaching Basotho traditions previously re¬ served for those initiated at the Mopatho. However, Lekhotla la Bafo never directly attacked Christianity and allied itself with a number of independent Basotho churches. As part of their efforts to keep Lesotho out of South Africa, the group sought to forge international contacts and alliances. In particu¬ lar, they sought to establish connections with African movements in South Africa such as the Industrial Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP). Through the efforts of Edwin Mofutsanyana, Lekhotla la Bafo developed a work¬ ing relationship with the SACP, which gave the group space in its paper. The South African Worker. Lekhotla la Bafo never developed any significant ties with the African National Congress. Throughout the 1920s, several attempts to bring representatives of either the ICU or SACP to Lesotho, including a 1929 arranged visit by J. T. Gumede, were blocked by the resident commissioner. Additionally, Lekhotla la Bafo developed contacts with Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and the League against Imperial¬ ism. From 1926 to 1930, Lefela failed in his efforts to establish a



“League of Protectorates” with leaders in Swaziland and Bechuanaland. In 1930 Lefela sent a letter to South African Prime Minister J. B. M. Hertzog reminding him that the Basotho did not wish to. be part of South Africa. Lefela also sent numerous petitions to the League of Nations and the United Nations concerning Lesotho’s status in regard to Britain and South Africa. Lefela once again found himself in trouble with the colonial au¬ thorities for urging Basotho not to participate in a “white war”

(World War II). Furthermore, he criticized the British for not arm¬ ing Basotho soldiers who were in dangerous situations. In September 1942, Lefela was convicted of sedition and sentenced to two years in jail. Although Lefela was released on 24 December 1943, Lekhotla la Bafo was unable to hold meetings due to a 1942 government ban on meetings. The ban was not lifted until 1946 when Lefela threat¬ ened to bring the matter before the United Nations. Despite the colonial authorities’ disdain for the group and its deci¬ sion not to grant it a permanent seat on the National Council, Lefela made a comeback after a 26-year absence in 1946. In that year, he returned to the National Council as an elected representative from the Berea District Council. The group scored other political victories as a dozen members were elected to the Berea and Leribe District Coun¬ cils. Almost immediately after Lefela’s return to the Council, he once again found himself in trouble with the British. In 1947, Lefela and several other members of Lekhotla la Bafo were accused of setting fire to the dormitory at Roma College, which killed three students. However, due to a lack of evidence, all but one of the accused was acquitted. Lefela remained an outspoken critic against the govern¬ ment, accusing them of falsifying evidence against the chiefs and manufacturing the liretlo crisis in order to destroy the chieftainship. These comments resulted in Lefela being convicted of treason on 29 June 1955. Expelled from the national and district councils, Lefela remained in prison until March 1956. By the late 1950s, the group’s influence began to wane and at a 1957 rally held at Thaba Bosiu, Lekhotla la Bafo symbolically passed the torch of resistance to a new political organization, the Basuto¬ land Congress Party, whose founder, Ntsu Mokhehle, had been a pupil of Lefela’s. Lefela’s influence on Mokhehle was evident in his



statements regarding incorporation, Moshoeshoe, and the liretlo crisis. LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM. Lesotho’s formal legal and judi¬ cial patterns have changed relatively little since the period of colonial administration. Court presidents with little formal legal training ad¬ minister customary law, partially codified by the Laws of Lerotholi, in the customary courts of major chiefs located within their commu¬ nities. Most cases in local courts involve family law issues where only minimum sanctions may be imposed. Central courts with juris¬ diction over chieftainship issues such as boundaries and succession also deal with cases involving minimum penalties. Magistrate’s courts, also known as subordinate courts, have the power to review all decisions of the customary courts and to handle minor civil and criminal cases. They were originally the courts of colonial district officers, located in the major towns, but now are staffed by individu¬ als with some legal training and, occasionally, LL.B. degrees. The High Court of Lesotho is descended from the former Resident Com¬ missioner’s Court and is the most powerful judicial institution in Le¬ sotho. Its stature derives from its formal constitutional status and its unlimited original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters. By contrast, the court of appeal can automatically review cases originating in the High Court, but can only review cases that the High Court has heard on appeal when the High Court judge who heard the case grants leave to appeal on points of law or constitution¬ ality. The court of appeal, which meets infrequently, typically in¬ cludes experienced foreign justices to gain a broad legal perspective and all the judges of the High Court ex officio. The structure of the judicial system remained essentially unchanged in the independence and 1993 Constitutions and during the periods of unconstitutional ci¬ vilian and military rule from 1979 to 1993. The High Court and the court of appeal deal with a complex inter¬ action among customary law, British common law and Roman Dutch legal concepts drawn from the period of Cape Administration and interaction with South Africa as well as numerous precedents drawn fiom piior cases. Conflicting new influences have been the various constitutional norms and the arbitrary executive edicts drawn from Lesotho’s independence experience. Although the High Court has



struck down a few governmental actions undertaken improperly, it has not directly challenged formal legislation even when enacted by a regime that seized power by force. Such deference to those holding legislative power is congruent with the British principle that permits Cabinets to act on behalf of a sovereign parliament. This judicial pru¬ dence also permitted the retention of considerable independence for courts and judges in carrying out their adjudicative and dispute reso¬ lution functions. The chief justice of the High Court is appointed by the king acting in accordance with the advice of the prime minister. The other High Court judges, known as puisne judges, are appointed by the king act¬ ing on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission. The Judicial Service Commission, established in the Constitution, is an attempt to ensure that professionalism rather than politics determines judicial appointments and the validity of allegations of judicial misbehavior. It consists of the chief justice, attorney general, chairman of the Pub¬ lic Service Commission, and an additional member who has held high judicial office. The Constitution of 1993 also defines standards of professional training and experience required for appointees to the High Court and court of appeal and provides for their secure tenure in office until the age of 75 unless infirmity or misbehavior necessi¬ tate removal. The attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer in Lesotho, and the director of public prosecutions, who serves under the attorney general and is responsible for initiating or withdrawing all criminal prosecutions, have also been immunized from immediate political control. Although appointed by the king in accordance with the advice of the prime minister, they may remain in office until age 55, so long as they properly exercise their functions, even if a new government assumes power. Prior to independence, all High Court judges were expatriates, who had Basotho assessors to advise them on points of customary law, interpretation of testimony in Sesotho and community attitudes toward the issues in question. Prior to 1970, Chief Leabua Jonathan appointed whites with Afrikaner names on loan from the South Afri¬ can government to key judicial positions including the chief justice, director of public prosecutions, chief legal draftsman, and many dis¬ trict magistrates, raising concerns about the objectivity of the legal system. Although such appointments may have contributed to the



Basotho National Party (BNP) electoral defeat, they helped sustain Jonathan in power thereafter. Challenging Jonathan’s seizure of power in the High Court was impossible because Chief Justice H. R. Jacobs closed the court and took refuge across the border in South Africa. Jacobs subsequently characterized Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) and Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) resistance to the BNP coup as “an evil conspiracy.” The first Mosotho chief justice, J. T. Mapetla, was appointed in 1974, but did not follow the government line in dealing with BCP rebels charged with treason for their failed coup. Mapetla found the 22 defendants guilty of violating law and order during their insurrec¬ tion and stated that it was not his proper role to “prosecute the politi¬ cal state of the country.” In mitigation of sentence, he accepted the defendants’ contention that their acts had been due to “relentless op¬ pression” and “complete denial of any political expression.” He con¬ demned the failure of government to protect “the life and liberty of its subjects” and to prevent “brutal and humiliating assaults” by the Security Forces. He noted that those seeking justice through vio¬ lence might be regarded as “freedom fighters” rather than “terror¬ ists.” Mapetla’s death in 1975, allegedly from a long illness, seemed suspect to some due to his embarrassment of the BNP regime by his verdict. Thereafter Jonathan resumed appointing expatriate chief jus¬ tices less able to challenge government actions. Nevertheless judges worked on the margin to protect human rights by holding inquests into allegations of abuse, awarding compensation to victims and con¬ victing some of the individual perpetrators. Due to the cooperative law program of the University of Bo¬

tswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (UBLS) and the University of Ed¬ inburgh and the development of the National University of Lesotho s (NUL) law faculty, Lesotho has a large body of welltrained lawyers fully qualified for judicial positions, service as prose¬ cutors and defense attorneys, and appointment to academic posts and leadership of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), especially in the areas of civil liberties, human rights, and conflict resolution. The Lesotho Law Journal, published at NUL, includes a wide range of articles on all fields of law and on the social and political context of legal issues, especially in southern Africa. The current High Court has been completely Africanized. It has a complement of nine judges




and is presently led by the third Mosotho chief justice, Mahapela

Lehohla. It includes two women, ’Maseshophe Hlajoane and Mafoso Guni. Their presence may help the legal system to resolve some of the complex problems caused by the entrenchment of patriarchy in customary law, in the colonial legal pattern and in many prece¬ dents set by the various governments since independence.

LEHOHLA, MAHAPELA LEBOHANG (1944-). On 17 September 2002, Mahapela Lehohla, a very experienced legal practitioner, was sworn in as the third Mosotho chief justice of Lesotho. He completed his law degree in 1969 from the joint University of Botswana, Leso¬ tho, and Swaziland/University of Edinburgh law program and was admitted to the Lesotho bar as an advocate. He worked in wellknown law firms, first under A. P. Mda and then for Mohaleroe and Sello. Between 1972 and 1986, he served as assistant registrar and later registrar of the Lesotho High Court and court of appeal and also as resident and senior magistrate of Maseru. After a two-year period as an acting judge of the High Court, he became a full-fledged judge from 1988 to 2002. Lehohla has received recognition outside Lesotho as chairman of the Appeals Board of the Preferential Trade Area of Eastern and Southern Africa and has participated in many international confer¬ ences, where he gave papers on women’s and children’s rights and on Lesotho’s participation in the Geneva Conventions. In Lesotho, he has been president of the courts martial appeal court and has served as chairman of the Football Committee of Lesotho Sports Council and as secretary of that council.

LEKHANYA, JUSTIN METSING (1938-). Justin Metsing Lekhanya completed his primary and secondary education in Roman Catholic schools. After a stint as a migrant mine worker in South Africa, he joined the Basutoland Mounted Police in 1960. Lekhanya became the only Mosotho officer heading a paramilitary Police Mobile Unit platoon after its formation in 1965. In the early 1970s, he received training at police academies in Scotland and the United States. In 1974, he assumed command of the Police Mobile Unit as a majorgeneral and oversaw its transformation in 1980 into the Lesotho Par¬

amilitary Force and, later, the Lesotho Defence Force.

1 56


On January 20, 1986, Major-General Lekhanya was the choice of officers mounting a military coup d’etat to terminate the nonelected Basotho National Party (BNP) government of Leabua Jonathan and become chairman of the newly created Military Council (see MILITARY COUP OF 1986). Worsening civil strife, an impending military mutiny, endemic Lesotho Liberation Army attacks, South African raids on African National Congress installations in Maseru, and a South African economic embargo precipitated his seizure of power. Buoyed by popular disgust with the old regime, Lekhanya re¬ placed the incumbent civilian autocracy with a military dictatorship (see MILITARY COUNCIL). Because supporters of King Moshoeshoe II were included in the Council of Ministers and the Military Council, the new government initially appeared to be a military/mo¬ narchical coalition regime. However, Lekhanya’s subsequent de¬ throning of Moshoeshoe II, installation in his place of the youthful and inexperienced Letsie III and ouster of royalists from key posi¬ tions would prove otherwise. Indeed, these altercations with the king undermined whatever legitimacy the military regime could claim. Whether or not the apartheid government of South Africa encour¬ aged or facilitated Lekhanya’s coup, his policies coincided with some of their objectives. His military government swiftly signed an agree¬ ment to build several dams in remote mountain areas and divert water from Lesotho’s rivers to South Africa’s industrial heartland. Chief Jonathan had rejected the same terms. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project guaranteed a regular new revenue source and sub¬ stantial numbers of jobs during the construction phases. Neverthe¬ less, the Military Council failed to stem deterioration of the economy and the quality of life in Lesotho for the general public and military rank-and-file. Lekhanya’s use of South African commandos to crush insurgents and restore order during the 1988 papal visit was seen as evidence of too great subservience to South Africa. He and his government developed a reputation for lawlessness. Though cleared of wrongdo¬ ing, Lekhanya was subjected to embarrassing legal proceedings after he shot, in suspicious circumstances, a student alleged to be a rapist. Complicity of members of the Military Council in the murder of for¬ mer BNP Cabinet ministers and their wives provided further con¬ firmation of venality. A surge of serious crime, racial violence




involving Asian and other foreign traders, and rampant corruption in the public sector completed this unsavory image. Pressured by do¬ nors and the rapid changes occurring in South Africa, Lekhanya promised a return to constitutional government and civilian rule. Having done so, he could no longer risk crude suppression of popular criticism and dissent . The failings of his regime became grist for an increasingly outspoken popular press. Within six months of ousting Moshoeshoe II, General Lekhanya was himself forced to resign at gunpoint by his fellow soldiers in 1991. Ironically the precipitating issues were not human rights, the struggle for democracy, and Lekhanya’s failings, but unmet demands from the ranks for better pay. There was no evidence of South Afri¬ can involvement, and power passed to Colonel Phisoana Ramaema, a member of Lekhanya’s Military Council. Instead of retiring, Lekhanya soon began a new political career by contesting the Mantsonyane constituency in the 1993 election as the candidate of the BNP, the party he had overthrown in 1986. His unsa¬ vory reputation, combined with the legacy of Jonathan’s 16 years of illegal BNP rule, undoubtedly contributed to the resounding defeats suffered by his party in the 1993 and 1998 elections. Lekhanya sup¬ ported the continued extralegal efforts to oust the elected Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government that led Botswana and South Africa to intervene militarily in 1998. He characterized the South African forces as vicious invaders and the LCD government that had invited them as traitors, an ironic reversal of his own posi¬ tion in 1986 and 1988. In 1999, he completed his political transfor¬ mation by succeeding Retselisitsoe Sekhonyana as head of the BNP. His leadership of the party has been authoritarian and controversial, leading to further splits in its ranks. Under Lekhanya’s leadership, the BNP contested and lost all 80 constituencies in 2002, but finished second in the party vote and re¬ ceived 21 proportionally selected seats in the National Assembly. After initially demanding and getting a forensic audit of the results and questioning the legitimacy of the vote, Lekhanya assumed his seat in Parliament. Under the rules, he could not become the official leader of the opposition with additional emoluments unless he com¬ manded the support of one-quarter of the members of the National Assembly, a difficult task given long-standing enmity of many oppo-



sition parties to him. Lekhanya had campaigned on a Basotho nation¬ alist platform resistant to surrendering any sovereignty to South Africa. He perceived the Southern African Development Commu¬

nity (SADC) as a group of foreign Africans educated at Fort Hare who had clumsily invaded and mismanaged Lesotho. He viewed those arrested for their role in the 1998 demonstrations as political prisoners who should be granted unconditional amnesty. He argued that the military was an element essential to instilling national pride and discipline. Ironically, he now supported a dynamic rather than passive monarchy as a counterweight to elected politicians. His de¬ velopment strategy emphasized a bottom-up approach empowering families, small enterprises, and religious leaders.


LELINGOANA. Chief of a branch of the Batlokoa, and grandson and heir to Sekonyela, Lelingoana reversed his grandfather’s adversarial relationship with the Basotho. In 1853, following a Basotho victory at Marabeng, Sekonyela led his followers to the Cape Colony. Even¬ tually Lelingoana succeeded his grandfather at Wittebergen Native Reserve in the Cape. In 1880, he sided with the Basotho during the

Gun War, reportedly decapitating British magistrate John Austen and sending the head to Paramount Chief Letsie I. Following the war, Lelingoana accepted Letsie’s invitation to settle with his people in the Maloti Mountains at Mokhotlong. See also LIRETLO MUR¬ DERS.

LEON COMMISSION. Early in 2000, the government of Lesotho es¬ tablished a Commission of Enquiry into the causes of the political disturbance of 1998, including the parties and individuals leading the disturbances; the roles of the Lesotho Defence Force, the Lesotho

Mounted Police, and the National Security Service; and the iden¬ tity of those engaged in arson, looting, and murder. The Commission consisted of the three South African judges of the Lesotho court of appeal, chaired by Justice Ramon Nigel Leon. Testimony given by Cabinet ministers, government officials, party spokespersons, and individual citizens covered a wide range of



events, including the role of King Letsie III, and was broadcast live on Radio Lesotho and reported extensively in the press. Although initially given two months to complete its task, hearings persisted for more than a year as the Commission notified individuals who had been implicated in testimony and provided them opportunities to present their defense. The issues raised went well beyond the events of 1998 to include the political assassinations of journalist Edward Motuba in 1981 and Deputy Prime Minister Selometsi Baholo in 1994. The proceedings were viewed as analogous to the South Afri¬ can Truth and Reconciliation Commission and heard by a wide audi¬ ence of radio listeners. The Commission presented its much-delayed 132-page report to the prime minister in October 2001. It minced few words as it ac¬ cused Father Antony Monyau, Majara Molapo, and Mamello Mor¬ rison of treason or at a minimum of incitement to sedition and public violence. Given that persons granted amnesty after the 1994 events were implicated again in 1998, the Commission recommended against any new amnesty. No action to implement these recommendations has been taken to date given the ramifications of acting against parties and individuals contesting the 2002 election and sitting in Parliament thereafter. Pre¬ dictably, those identified as perpetrators by the Commission have taken refuge in the argument that white South African judges could not have been expected to understand the events and provide a fair evaluation.

LEPATLAPATLE (1882-1885). Lepatlapatle is the name given to the succession dispute between Joel Molapo and his half-brother Jona¬ than Molapo. Hostilities between the two surfaced during the Gun War, but formed initially in 1880 with the death of their father, Mo¬ lapo, chief of Leribe District. In 1880, Jonathan assumed the chief¬ taincy without contest, yet politically isolated himself during the war by supporting the Cape Administration. Capitalizing on his halfbrother’s loss of popularity, Joel quickly seized power. Within two years, Jonathan gathered sufficient military strength to successfully challenge his half-brother, resuming the chieftaincy in 1885.

LEROTHOLI, GEORGE. Best known for his two published collec¬ tions of praise poems. His first, Lithoka tsa morena e moholo See iso



Griffith (Praise Poems of Paramount Chief Seeiso Griffith), was pub¬ lished in 1940, after Seeiso’s coronation as paramount chief. His sec¬ ond collection, Lithoko tsa Mothotlehi Moshoeshoe II (Praise Poems of His Excellency Moshoeshoe II), was published in 1964 and covers the main episodes of the young king’s life.

LEROTHOLI, LELOKO (1894-?). The son of Paramount Chief Lerotholi by a junior wife, he was later placed as chief of Semonkong by his brother, Griffith, in response to the resident commis¬ sioner’s stated intention to place a retired British official in the region. Since becoming a member of the Basutoland National Council in 1918, Leloko Lerotholi was known for both his influential speeches and his violent outbursts. He was a strident advocate of pre¬ serving the powers of the chieftainship and was opposed to those who spoke critically of the institution. In particular, he held the Ba¬

sutoland Progressive Association (BPA) in great disdain and threat¬ ened its leaders on numerous occasions. In 1921, he doubted the BPA’s claim that the nation was complaining that the Council was not elected, on the basis that he had not heard these complaints. Le¬ loko Lerotholi served as chief councilor to Paramount Chief Griffith. His importance was evident in 1926 when Leloko brought both Be-

reng Griffith and Seeiso Griffith before the resident commissioner to announce that Bereng was the senior son and heir to the throne. During the 1930s Leloko argued that the Laws of Lerotholi should be considered as both law and custom since they were the system established by Moshoeshoe for the running of the country. Often referred to as “Mr. No,” he opposed most of the reforms brought before the National Council in the late 1930s and 1940s, es¬ pecially the National Treasury. Even after participating in a fact¬ finding mission to Bechuanaland to study how taxes were collected, he continued to argue that chiefs should collect taxes and that the collection of fines should not be taken away. As an opponent of in¬ corporation into South Africa, during the 1940s he repeatedly argued that Lesotho was a protectorate and not a colony, and that Britain had no jurisdiction to transfer Lesotho to South Africa. In 1949, Leloko Lerotholi objected to the use of the term “ritual murder” by the colo¬ nial regime to describe liretlo, stating that there was nothing ritual


about it. Lastly, he was also one of the most outspoken critics against the appointment of A. G. T. Chaplin as resident commissioner in 1956.

LEROTHOLI LETSIE (1836-1905). Son of Basotho Paramount Chief Letsie I and his second wife, Paramount Chief Lerotholi proved a strong and popular ruler notwithstanding early interference over his succession. According to Basotho custom, Lerotholi, as Le¬ tsie’s firstborn son, would succeed his father despite the existence of Senate, an older half-sister in the first house. The clarity of this succession suffered, however, from the dynastic maneuverings of his grandfather, Moshoeshoe. In ca. 1869, evidently fulfilling Moshoeshoe’s wishes, Letsie “raised up seed” for Senate by coupling with his second cousin, Maneella. At the time, it appears that Maneella and Senate maintained a woman-to-woman marriage. Maneella later became Lerotholi’s senior wife, and their biological child succeeded his father as Letsie II. Intervention did not end there, however. At Moshoeshoe’s instigation. Senate made a subsequent marriage with her cousin Josefa Molapo. This took place without bohali to place her biological children in the house of her father and thereby make a son eligible for the paramountcy. Shortly before his death in 1870, Moshoeshoe bypassed 33-year-old Lerotholi to name Motsoene, the infant son of Senate and Josefa, as Letsie’s heir. Nothing came of this wish, and Lerotholi assumed the paramountcy at his father’s death in 1891. During the Seqiti War, Lerotholi earned a reputation for fighting bravely. He led retaliatory raids into the Orange Free State (OFS) and defended stored grain at the mountain stronghold of Qeme. In the Gun War (1880-1881), evidently following instructions from his father, Lerotholi joined Basotho troops ranged against the Cape

Administration. Succeeding Letsie at the end of the 19th century, Lerotholi ruled with increasing control during a period of Britishbrokered centralization. Resident Commissioner Godfrey Lagden sought to effectively control the colony by strengthening the power of the paramount over subordinate chiefs. Lerotholi’s first eight years thus were marked by challenges from several family members, in¬ cluding his half-brother Maama, his cousin Jonathan, and his uncle

Masopha. Refusing to acknowledge Lerotholi’s authority, Masopha



in particular proved problematic, ignoring official directives and act¬ ing independently. In 1897, Masopha refused to hand over to authori¬ ties a fugitive son, prompting Lagden to order Lerotholi to discipline his uncle. Lerotholi initially refused, but the threat of intervening British troops convinced him to subdue Masopha in 1898. Following suppression of any significant opposition, Lerotholi pre¬ sided over the formation of a Basotho advisory body. Since the colo¬ nial plan to consolidate power in the paramountcy depended in part on a decline in the village pitso, in 1903 the Basutoland National Council was established. Composed of Paramount Chief Lerotholi and all principal Basotho chiefs, as well as appointed members, the Council codified 18 laws governing Basotho custom. These laws, known as the Laws of Lerotholi, ranged from chiefly succession to Basotho land rights. See also CLARKE, MARSHAL JAMES; CO¬ LONIAL ADMINISTRATION; COLONIAL REFORMS; MOCHEKOANE, PHILIP MOLISE; TRANSFER QUESTION.

LEROTHOLI, MOJELA (1895-1961). He became chief of Tsakholo (Mafeteng District) in 1928, three years after his father Mojela, who was the senior son of Letsie I’s sixth house, died in 1925. There were no surviving sons in Mojela’s first four houses and Lerotholi was senior son of the fifth house. However, Mojela favored his son Molapo Lerotholi of the sixth house, and after his death, Molapo claimed that he was senior and should succeeded his father. Molapo chal¬ lenged Mojela Lerotholi’s position on the grounds that his father’s marriage to Mojela Lerotholi’s mother was invalid or that he should be considered as the adoptive son of Ma’Makhabalo, their father’s senior wife. After several failed attempts to inherit his father’s posi¬ tion, Mojela Lerotholi brought his case to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England, which ruled in his favor. During World War I he was promoted to sergeant-major with lim¬ ited authority over the 1,400 Basotho who served in the Native Labor Corps in France. For his efforts, Mojela Lerotholi was awarded a medal for meritorious service. Returning home from the war, his father placed him as chief of Tebang in 1921. Due to extensive soil erosion in his district, Mojela Lerotholi worked with the colonial Agriculture Department to combat soil erosion. For many years he was a frequent visitor to Matsieng, serving as an advisor to both Par-



1 63

amounts Seeiso Griffith and ’Mantsebo. Generally considered kind and well spoken, his work with ’Mantsebo in the Basutoland Na¬ tional Council and with the Agriculture Department is an example of why the British government considered him a model chief. In 1962, a year after his death, his daughter Tabitha ’MaSentle married Motletheli Moshoeshoe II, and she is the mother of the current king,

Letsie III. LESAOANA MAKHABANE (7-1888). The son of Makhabane, he was Moshoeshoe’s nephew and later son-in-law when he married his uncle’s eldest daughter, Mathe. After his father died in battle, Lesaoana was raised in Moshoeshoe’s first house. In 1835 he led a major cattle raid against the Thembu at the behest of Moshoeshoe. An important ally, Lesaoana lived at Ntlo Kholo from 1835 to 1845, only 3 kilometers away from Thaba Bosiu. However, Lesaoana occasionally acted against the wishes of Moshoeshoe, such as his raid against Mojakisane. In 1845 Moshoeshoe placed Lesaoana at Mapoteng, 40 kilometers northeast of Thaba Bosiu. Three years later, in response to raids against Basotho chiefs, Lesaoana led a raid on Sekonyela, which netted nearly 8,000 head of cattle. An important chief in his own right, by the 1850s Lesaoana began to feel overshadowed and encroached upon by Moshoeshoe’s sons. Claiming that he was surrounded by Molapo, Masopha, and sons of

Letsie I, who were encroaching on his territory, in 1861 he migrated north and settled near Bethlehem in the Orange Free State (OFS). Once in the Orange Free State, it is apparent that Moshoeshoe lost control of Lesaoana, whose cattle raiding was a major source of con¬ flict with the Orange Free State and the British. In 1864 Lesaoana raided the cattle of and burned the farms of Afrikaners who had va¬ cated in anticipation of war. Lesaoana refused to pay the fine and later fired on an Orange Free State patrol. In a later incident, he wounded two young Afrikaners. In May 1865 President J. H. Brand of the Orange Free State expelled Lesaoana because of his repeated raiding. Driven out of the OFS, Lesaoana took up residence in Mo¬ lapo’s territory. Although reintegrated into Moshoeshoe’s fold dur¬ ing the resumption of hostilities in 1865, Lesaoana remained a loose cannon. His raid in June 1865 against the OFS farmers’ holdings in Natal and his assault on a group of trekkers evoked the ire of both

1 64


the British and the Transvaal. The Transvaal briefly declared war on Moshoeshoe, however, once they sensed that it would not be profit¬ able if they withdrew. Trying to appease Natal, which wanted to de¬ clare war on Moshoeshoe, Philip Wodehouse requested that Moshoeshoe return the cattle and hand Lesaoana over to the British. Although it appears that Moshoeshoe had little control over Le¬ saoana, his continued reluctance to take any action against him seems to suggest that Lesaoana may have been acting on Moshoeshoe’s or¬ ders. After the war, Lesaoana returned to his previous home near Mapoteng. He was succeeded as principal chief by his son Peete and his descendants Mitchell, Boshane, and Makhabane II. LESELINYANE LA LESOTHO (THE LITTLE LIGHT OF LESO¬ THO). See NEWSPAPERS. LESIBA (FEATHER) FACTION. See LESOTHO CONGRESS FOR DEMOCRACY; LESOTHO PEOPLE’S CONGRESS; MAOPE, KELEBONE ALBERT; MOKHEHLE, SHAKHANE ROBONG; MOSISILI, BETHUEL PAKALITHA.

LESOTHO ASSOCIATION OF NONFORMAL EDUCATION (LANFE). See NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS. LESOTHO CONGRESS FOR DEMOCRACY (LCD). In June 1997, Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle announced the formation of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy after it had become clear that he would not have been reelected leader of the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP). His less than convincing rationale was that the BCP role had been to end colonialism and bring genuine independence to Basutoland, but now a new democratic party was needed to develop Lesotho. Despite his precarious health, Mokhehle remained in power with his existing Cabinet intact because he retained a majority among the members of Parliament. Mokhehle’s unexpected action was hotly contested by a coalition of opposition politicians, who argued that it was both unconstitu¬ tional and morally reprehensible for Mokhehle to continue to govern once he and his parliamentary supporters had left the BCP, under whose colors they had been elected. They called for King Letsie III to dissolve Parliament and for Mokhehle to resign. However, Leso-


1 65

tho’s Constitution applies the Westminster principle that the prime minister needed only the support of a National Assembly majority, not necessarily of the party that elected him. Confusion about the issue persisted because the South African constitution, based on pro¬ portional representation, requires the immediate resignation of a de¬ fecting parliamentarian. Winning the 1998 election became the overriding preoccupation of the LCD and was likely the sole element holding the new party together. Early in 1998, the LCD Conference reelected Ntsu Mokhehle as party leader despite his informing them that he was too ill to continue. When he subsequently insisted that he could not serve, the Conference reconvened to make the choice they had avoided, re¬ sulting in the selection of Pakalitha Mosisili over Shakhane Mo-

khehle. With supporters of the old BCP split between two parties and the LCD itself beset by contending factions, many politicians and academic commentators expected a close election, possibly where no party would gain a parliamentary majority. However the LCD man¬ aged a virtual sweep where it carried all but one of the 80 National

Assembly seats. Contrary to expectations, the LCD dominated among the less affluent members of the BCP rank-and-file in the countryside and held its own in towns where the opposition vote was split among several contesting parties. Far from being the malevolent and manipulative force portrayed by its opponents, the LCD government, like its BCP predecessor, was an inert and rather incompetent but relatively benign regime. It re¬ mained constantly hemmed in by the uncertain loyalty of the Secur¬

ity Forces, its own internecine divisions, a renewed battle over succession to party leadership, and the intractable economic and so¬ cial problems the country confronted. The party lacked any indepen¬ dent coercive mechanisms. No persuasive evidence has emerged that they had any systematic scheme for corrupting the election or falsify¬ ing the results. Indeed, the results demonstrated continuity from 1993 to 1998. The combined BCP and LCD vote dropped slightly while the Basotho National Party (BNP) m'ade minimal gains, but the ex¬ isting electoral system permitted the LCD to win a disproportionate number of seats in Parliament (see ELECTIONS). In the absence of clear-cut ideological or policy differences among the parties, citizens


opted for continuity by choosing the party most closely associated with Ntsu Mokhehle. Despite its huge majority, the elected LCD government was unable to govern effectively as Lesotho was swiftly brought to a virtual standstill by the 1998 insurrection led by a coalition of opposition parties that were certain that they had been victimized by massive electoral fraud. Indeed, Pakalitha Mosisili, the new LCD prime min¬ ister, called for Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention to restore his government when it completely lost control of the capital and countryside (see REGIONAL INTER¬ VENTIONS). Restored to power after the external intervention crushed mutinous elements of the rebellious Lesotho Defence Force and quelled massive looting by dissidents, it was then compelled to share authority with the Interim Political Authority (IPA), estab¬ lished to create a more appropriate electoral system and set the stage for new elections. By resisting proposals for pure proportional repre¬ sentation from the opposition Setlamo Alliance in the IPA and join¬ ing with the Khokanyana Phiri Alliance to create a stalemate, the LCD managed to delay the process well beyond the initial 2000 elec¬ toral deadline and to stay in power for four of its five-year term of office. Although it used its monopoly power in the National Assembly to compel concessions, the LCD proved every bit as factionalized as its opponents in the IPA. From the beginning of its tenure in office, two factions vied for dominance within the Cabinet, National Assembly, party institutions, and local constituency organizations, perhaps fos¬ tered by the lack of party discipline possible when there is no viable parliamentary opposition. There were no apparent ideological or pol¬ icy differences between the factions, only contending personalities and political ambitions claiming the mantle of the late Ntsu Mo¬ khehle. Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was able to rebuff efforts of his critics to shorten his term of office as party leader and to make amendments to the party constitution, weakening his position. After a number of additional skirmishes at the 2001 party conference where Mosisili’s supporters prevailed by narrow margins, the die was cast when Mosisili reshuffled his Cabinet and excluded Shakhane Mokhehle from a ministerial post. Following further exchanges of insults between ranking members of each faction, the group led by


Kelebone Maope and Shakhane Mokhehle gained control of the LCD newspaper and then formally created the Lesotho People’s" Congress (LPC). The LCD remained the governing party with the support of a sub¬ stantial majority of the members of the National Assembly. Although both the LPC and LCD included established figures from the old BCP and Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA), these elements had relatively little impact upon the 2002 general election results. Both the LCD and LPC had used the old party colors and symbols to associate themselves with the heritage of Ntsu Mokhehle. During the cam¬ paign, the LCD coopted some of the agenda of the small Popular Front for Democracy (PFD). It called for greater economic integra¬ tion with South Africa due to changes in the Southern African Cus¬

toms Union that will cost Lesotho about 52 percent of existing revenue or 40 percent of the national budget. It also touted job cre¬ ation in the textile industry, phasing out of primary school fees and the restoration of order as achievements justifying its reelection. In the general election the LCD received almost 55 percent of the ballots cast for parties and carried all but one of the 80 constituen¬ cies. An unprecedented 10 women contested and won constituencies for the LCD; five were appointed to Cabinet and sub-Cabinet posts in the new government. Women dominated the top of the LCD party list, although the party qualified for no additional seats through pro¬ portional representation. Mosisili’s new Cabinet contained many fa¬ miliar faces, but reshuffling and new appointments placed ministers in positions appropriate to their qualifications and included a distin¬ guished financial expert, Timothy Thahane, as minister of finance and development planning.


LESOTHO DEFENCE FORCE (LDF). See SECURITY FORCES. LESOTHO EVANGELICAL CHURCH (LEC). On 19 April 1964, the Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC) celebrated its founding and independence from the Paris Evangelical Mission Society (PEMS). Emerging from the Kereke ea Lesotho (Church of Basutoland),



which, in its turn, grew from and shared responsibilities with the Paris-based society, the LEC reflected contemporary changes in Le¬ sotho. In 1822, the PEMS formed to prepare young Protestant men for overseas ministerial work. Courses at the 19th-century Paris Mis¬ sion House ranged from linguistics to agriculture, suggesting the so¬ ciety’s commitment to long-term overseas work. In 1829, the PEMS focused exclusively on southern Africa, sending its first graduates to Cape Town that same year. Over the next four years, these initial mis¬ sionaries established stations among the Batswana at Motito, and at Bethulie in territory claimed by the Basotho chief, Moshoeshoe. In 1833, newly arrived PEMS missionaries Eugene Casalis, Thomas Arbousset, and lay missionary Constant Gosselin accepted an invi¬ tation from Moshoeshoe to live with the Basotho at Morija. This served Moshoeshoe’s territorial interests by settling missionaries with Basotho on disputed land threatened by Griqua and European expansion. However, Moshoeshoe’s attraction to the missionaries went beyond their strategic assistance. The missionaries introduced foreign skills and technology ranging from literacy to new agricul¬ tural inputs, and these innovations improved the Basotho chance of survival in a rapidly changing world. Over the years, the chief af¬ forded the missionaries a grave courtesy and participated as well in an extensive political and religious dialogue. This especially was true after 1837, when Casalis opened a second mission at Moshoeshoe’s home on Thaba Bosiu. The PEMS claimed its first Christian convert in 1835. Moshoes¬ hoe, who engaged in spiritual discussion with the missionaries, never converted, and although the annual number of Basotho Christians slowly increased, they did not rush to the baptismal font. Conceptu¬ ally the Basotho accepted the notion of a God since it coincided with their belief in Molimo (Supreme Being). Nevertheless, Christianity lacked early Basotho adherents largely because the missionaries re¬ jected most traditional beliefs and practices. They preached instead a doctrine that denied the Basotho access to ancestral spirits, forbade initiation ceremonies and bohali, and required people to enter mo¬ nogamous marriages. By demanding such strict adherence to Chris¬ tian principles, the missionaries introduced broad sweeping cultural change that alienated many. In 1848, the fledgling influence enjoyed by the missionaries de¬ clined following Basotho disagreement with the PEMS church over


1 69

expansionist policy and war booty. Rather than abandon their dispute with the Batlokoa chief, Sekonyela, several influential and con¬ verted royal family members ignored the missionaries’ instructions to remain aloof. When the converts participated in a massive raid on the Batlokoa, refusing to give up cattle taken as booty, the PEMS reverends denied them communion. This prompted a highly visible rejection of Christianity, with a decade of slowed conversions. In 1847, the PEMS church claimed 1,246 adult communicants, but over the next decade only 135 new Basotho joined. New membership picked up again after 1857, with a generally steady but unspectacular increase in communicants throughout the century. Two peak periods occurred: in the 1870s when the church recorded the addition of 877 new communicants between 1872 and 1876, and again in the years 1884-1885 when 564 new communicants entered. Nonetheless, by 1894 the PEMS church listed only 13,733 adult Basotho parishio¬ ners. In 1904, the combined number of Christian converts from Basu¬ toland’s different denominations amounted to a mere 14.63 percent of the total population. By the early 20th century, then, only a tiny portion of Basotho had Christianized. The increases in membership, such as they were, reflected the launching of several additional PEMS mission stations throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition, numerous outstations manned by Basotho evangelists were established, and, late in the 19th century, the embryonic formation of an ordained Basotho pastorate promised to intensify local involvement. Following the founding of Morija in 1833, more Paris-trained missionaries arrived in the 1840s and 1850s to establish additional missions. Prominent among these were Francis Daumas at Mekoatleng, Hamilton More Dyke at Hermon, Jean-Pierre Pellissier at Bethulie, and Christian

Schrumpf at Bethesda. Concerned with Christianity’s introduction and survival, these pioneer missionaries promoted but did not always succeed in achieving a permanently settled Basotho population. Nonetheless, following the lead of Arbousset, they prepared Basotho parishioners for evangelization work, appointed church elders from the local population, and allowed the lay ministry a voice through the Church Council, or Consistory. The growth in remote mission outstations reflected this policy: in 1863, the first outstation appeared at Kolo under the jurisdiction of Esaia Leeti, and by 1894, 141 PEMS

1 70


outstations dotted the countryside. The pioneer missionaries also es¬ tablished primary schools and devoted considerable energy to Sesotho translations of religious material. Early mission activity produced a small Sesotho catechism, translation of parts of the Old and New Testaments, and purchase of a printing press in 1845. From its loca¬ tion at Beersheba, the PEMS press had produced by 1855 a Sesotho version of the New Testament as well as translations of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Yet mission work suffered from the instability plaguing the Highveld. During a period of territorial loss and crystallization of borders, migrations characterized the Basotho lifestyle, with politics claiming a large part of the PEMS attention. In the early decades, Eugene Casalis acted as advisor to Moshoeshoe in his dealings with the Orange River Sovereignty. Subsequent Orange Free State (OFS) aggres¬ sion prompted Daniel Frederic Ellenberger to secret Baphuthi pa¬ rishioners from commandos, and led as well to lobbying efforts in England by Franqois Daumas. Because the PEMS missionaries gen¬ erally supported Basotho territorial claims, inadvertently they pro¬ voked the animosity of frontier whites intent on expansion. In 1866, the OFS expelled them following seizure of Basotho territory and mission lands. The Annexation of 1868 restored peace and allowed missionaries to found new PEMS mission stations and reopen existing ones. The early colonial period also brought educational and pastoral change implemented by a younger generation of missionaries. Under the in¬ fluence of Adolphe Mabille, new PEMS primary schools were built, the first secondary school—the teacher training Normal School at Morija—opened in 1868, and both an industrial school at Thabana Morena and a Bible school at Morija formed. At the same time, Mab¬ ille introduced the outstation system staffed by Basotho evangelists. In 1872, the PEMS Synod of Basutoland formed to decide local church matters. Meeting throughout the 1870s, this body incorpo¬ rated Basotho evangelists and church elders, as previously the Church Consistory had done. Most significantly, in 1887 the PEMS church launched a theological school at Morija designed to mold a Basotho pastorate. With this institution, the PEMS privileged forma¬ tion of Basotho parishes over the founding of additional French mis¬ sion stations.



Meanwhile, the PEMS printing press continued publishing Sesotho religious works ranging from hymnals to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. In 1863, Mabille published on a personal press the first issue of the PEMS newspaper, Leselinyana la Lesotho. He moved the PEMS printing press from Masitise to Morija in 1874 to create the Morija Printing Works and Sesotho Book Depot. By the turn of the century, the Depot was printing secular works by Basotho authors in addition to religious material. Notable literary works included Mekhoa le Maele a Basotho by Azariele Sekese and Moeti oa Bochabela by Thomas Mofolo. During this period, PEMS political advocacy continued as well. Mabille offered Paramount Chief Letsie I diplomatic counseling, and argued against Basotho disarmament during the Gun War (18801881). When discussions leading to South Africa’s unification in 1910 suggested Basutoland’s incorporation, PEMS missionary Edouard Jacottet aired the Basotho opposition. On the other hand, the PEMS missionaries generally supported colonial rule as a means to implement Western cultural change and instill Christian values. To this end, in 1868 Emile Rolland proposed to British High Commis¬ sioner Philip Wodehouse measures to diminish the authority of Ba¬ sotho chiefs and stamp out Basotho customs. As the 19th century closed, Basotho control over church affairs seemed increasingly within reach. In 1891, the theological school or¬ dained its first Basotho ministers, Carlisle Motebang, Job Moteane, and John Mohapeloa. Five additional Basotho ordinations took place in 1896, with another five in 1907 and 1908. Basotho-led mis¬ sions opened in the Maloti Mountains at Sehonghong (1892), Molumong (1893), and Tsoelike (1900). Perhaps most importantly, a new local governing body, the Seboka, formed in 1898 to better reflect changing church structure. Conducted in Sesotho, Seboka meetings consisted of French and Basotho pastors voting equally on church matters. Because the Seboka shared duties with the PEMS Basuto¬ land Missionary Conference, its advent marked the beginning of the Kereke ea Lesotho. By the early 1920s, Basotho members outnum¬ bered French, and in 1922, seven presbyteries formed. Invested with local decision-making powers, these presbyteries heralded a decen¬ tralization process with more laity involvement. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Basotho migrated to South Af-

1 72


rica’s gold mines in the early decades of the 20th century. This prompted the PEMS Missionary Conference to expand its ministry to the Rand. Supported financially by Kereke ea Lesotho parishio¬ ners, the Missionary Conference eventually opened stations in South African townships as well. Within the borders of Basutoland, plans for a medical mission bore fruit in 1932 with formation of a clinic at Mohlanapeng. In 1938, Scott Hospital opened at Morija, and Tebellong Hospital followed in 1962-1963. Scott Hospital imple¬ mented a program to train village health workers in 1969. In contrast, education initiatives failed to keep pace with Basuto¬ land’s development needs. The Morija Training Institution (formerly the Normal School) offered the only junior certificate classes in the colony until the late 1920s, but by the mid-1930s the Kereke ea Leso¬ tho no longer occupied a vanguard position. Constrained by finances, the church ran only the one secondary school in 1959, compared to 11 throughout the colony. By 1963, however, it operated four sec¬ ondary schools at Masitise, Mafeteng, Butha-Buthe, and Mapholaneng, and following the church’s independence, these numbers had increased by 1983 to 33 postprimary institutions. Nevertheless, over¬ all student performance suffered from a high student-to-teacher ratio, as well as from insufficient teacher training and inadequate facilities. From 1972 to 1981, percentages dropped for successful examinees sitting for the Cambridge overseas school certificate—20.3 percent LEC students passed in 1981 compared to 51.8 percent in 1972. The move toward church autonomy slowed over the 1930s and 1940s but gained momentum following World War II. In 1951, Seboka members elected their first president from within their body, and for the first time Basotho pastors formed an executive majority. The addition of lay membership the following year led to lay representa¬ tion in the executive by 1959, and finally, in 1960 a joint commission formed to take final steps toward independence. Constitutional revi¬ sions implemented by this commission included equalizing the laity and clergy membership in the body of the Seboka, in its executive, and in the presbytery assemblies. On 18 April 1964, the Seboka of the newly formed Lesotho Evangelical Church chose the Reverend E. E. Phakisi as its first president, officially celebrating the following day the LEC’s thuthuho (coming of age). The LEC was the first of the major churches in Lesotho to ordain women.




In 1970, tension marked relations between the LEC and the Baso¬ tho National Party (BNP) government. Lesotho’s state of emer¬ gency, declared by the BNP in January 1970, suspended the Constitution and threatened political rights. This prompted the LEC to issue a statement calling for justice and the safeguarding of the Constitution. In Lebruary, the LEC formed part of a delegation to Prime Minister Chief Leabua Jonathan, petitioning against the sus¬ pension of the Constitution and advocating that the government lift the emergency. The LEC newspaper, Leselinyana, subsequently voiced the church’s dissatisfaction over the continued political up¬ heaval and printed a letter suggesting that LEC members formed the main BNP target. The government responded by banning Leseli¬ nyana in April 1970 and the editor of the paper, Edgar Motuba, was assassinated. Several other staff members were forced into exile. The paper resumed printing in June, but government surveillance of LEC premises, detention of its members, and Radio Lesotho criticism of Leselinyana continued into the 1980s. In 1987, a number of ministers went on strike over the failure of the LEC leadership to address a series of complaints. Although a commission was formed to investi¬ gate, few changes have actually been made. See also MIGRANT LABOR; RELIGIOUS BELIELS/PRACTICES. LESOTHO HIGHLANDS WATER PROJECT (LHWP). The Leso¬ tho Highlands Water Project has been implemented by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), as stipulated by the Highlands Water Treaty signed by the governments of Lesotho and South Africa on 24 October 1986. The development and utilization of Lesotho’s water resources became a subject of debate and negotia¬ tions in the 1950s when the smaller Oxbow project was proposed. In 1978, Lesotho and South Africa launched a joint investigation into the feasibility of a water transfer scheme and in the early 1980s agreed to explore the possibilities of a joint water project. By 1983 Lesotho and South Africa had developed a detailed project layout and feasibility study. The project was to be built in several stages over 30 years and was designed to meet South'Africa’s escalating need for water and Lesotho’s for hydroelectric power. Cost estimates, eco¬ nomic evaluations, as well as recommendations for the institutional, legal, and organizational framework were prepared for the project.

1 74


After three years of study, a proposal for six dams, 240 kilometers of tunnel, 278 kilometers of new roads, and a hydroelectric plant at a total cost of $2.6 billion was presented to both governments. Unhappy with what he believed to be an agreement that gave South Africa too much control and most of the benefits, Leabua Jon¬ athan refused to sign the Highlands Water Treaty. Some believe that the South Africa border slowdown in late 1985 was initiated in retali¬ ation, bringing business in Lesotho to a halt. The growing crisis be¬ tween Jonathan and South Africa led to Jonathan’s removal on 20 January 1986 by a military coup headed by Major-General Justin Metsing Lekhanya. On 24 October 1986 the Military Council signed the agreement. The treaty stipulated the rights and responsi¬ bilities of both nations in regard to the amount of water to be deliv¬ ered, distribution of building expenses, and payments to be made by South Africa for the water. The treaty stated that South Africa would pay for all parts of the project relating to the transfer of water, and Lesotho would pay for the hydroelectric portion of the project. Al¬ though South Africa was responsible for the construction of roads, dams, and other facilities in Lesotho, the treaty provided that all the facilities built in Lesotho belong to the mountain kingdom. The for¬ mula for calculating payments to Lesotho for the water transferred to South Africa provided that Lesotho would receive 56 percent of cost per unit of water saved by South Africa not constructing the next most expensive project, the Orange River Scheme, on its own terri¬ tory. Three bodies were created to oversee the construction and oper¬ ation of the project. The LHDA became responsible for the implementation and functioning of all aspects of the project within Lesotho, comprising about 90 percent of the total value of the proj¬ ect. The Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority oversaw all components of the project in South Africa. The Joint Permanent Technical Commis¬ sion was created to guarantee that each country fulfilled its obliga¬ tions. The Highlands Water Treaty contained sections pertaining to the social and enviionmental impact of the project. The treaty required that people affected by the dams be fully compensated so that their situations not be worsened as a result of the construction. Compensa¬ tion was to apply equally to all aspects of the project and to both individuals and communities. Those losing homes, fields, or grazing



lands to the project were given the choice of a onetime payment or long-term allotments of grain or cash. When residential property was taken by the LHWP, new sites were allocated where possible within their chief’s area of jurisdiction. Communities were compensated for the loss of communal resources such as grazing lands, trees, and val¬ uable grasses. However, the scarcity of arable land, grazing areas, and building sites meant that considerable improvisation was re¬ quired. International and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) argued that compensation was inadequate, inappropriate, or inordinately delayed. Their concerns delayed the start of Phase IB until some of these issues were resolved to the satisfaction of the World Bank. However, other damages such as alcohol abuse, prosti¬ tution, and the spread of AIDS to villages in the construction zones could not easily be remedied. Revenues from the sale of water were paid into the Lesotho High¬ lands Revenue Fund designated for development activities through¬ out the country. However, the absence of appropriate institutions meant that they were distributed through Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) members of Parliament for what became known as fato-fato (dig-dig) projects. Allegations of political favoritism, cor¬ ruption, and the poor design of these labor-intensive construction projects led to creation of the Lesotho Fund for Community Develop¬ ment to be controlled by the Ministry of Development Planning. Local stakeholders working through Village Development Councils were to be given a large voice in the design and implementation of future projects. However, the large administrative apparatus being put in place threatened to consume a goodly proportion of the funds. Phase 1A of the LHWP began with the repair of the mountain road to Thaba-Tseka and the construction of a new road through Pitseng to Katse, completed in 1991. Construction of the Katse Dam in the Maloti Mountains on the Malibamatso River began in 1991 and was completed in 1997. The Katse Dam reached its full capacity of 1.95 million cubic meters of water far more rapidly than expected in 1998 and began delivering water at the rate of 17 cubic meters per second. It is 185 meters high and 710 meters irt length along the crest. Water from Katse is delivered through a tunnel 82 kilometers long-reaching the Ash River in South Africa. An unintended consequence of the rapidity with which water was impounded was a series of small, but



not very dangerous, earthquakes that terrorized local villagers as the dam filled. The ’Muela Dam and power station became the most controversial elements of Phase 1A. A scandal about the allocation of contracts meant that it was not completed when water began to flow from Katse, requiring modifications that greatly escalated the costs. Dis¬ graced former LHDA Chief Executive Masupha Sole was convicted by Lesotho’s High Court of accepting bribes and fined M 7 million. In 2002 Acres International, a Canadian civil engineering firm, was also found guilty in Lesotho of paying a large bribe to Sole and fined M 22 million; cases against other international corporations are pending. Prom being dependent on South African power, the ’Muela project, with an output of 72 MW, has made Lesotho self-sufficient with a surplus to export. Long-distance power lines cross the coun¬ try, although their impact has been disappointing since ordinary citi¬ zens cannot afford the high fees for installation and use. Prime Minister Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili initiated 24-hour service to the remote Mokhotlong District in late 2002. The ’Muela community co¬ operative recently received M 400,000 from LHDA in compensation for communal assets lost to the project. Phase IB included a major upgrading of the Mountain Road, con¬ struction of Maseru bypass road, the 145-meter-high rock-filled Mohale Dam on the Senqunyane River, two diversion tunnels that will use gravity flow to deliver water to Katse, and a diversion weir on the Matsoku River to further augment capacity. It will increase the out¬ put of water from Lesotho to 30 cubic meters per second and began filling in 2003. Construction of Phases 1A and B of the Highlands project contrib¬ uted significantly to keeping Lesotho’s economy and government revenues stable during a period when remittances from migrant workers in South Africa were slipping. Prom 1990 to 2002, the proj¬ ect provided many construction-related jobs and generated a substan¬ tial amount of Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues for the government from the large quantities of goods and services that were imported. In 1998, the LHWP made up 13.6 percent of Le¬ sotho’s gross domestic product (GDP) and royalties from the sale of water, and project-related customs revenues comprised 28 percent of government revenue in Lesotho. Now that construction of the Katse



and Mohale Dams and tunnels and the Muela power transmission in¬ frastructure is complete, only a small work force is needed to run and maintain the facilities. Although the attraction of the new lakes within the mountains is expected to generate tourism and recreational activity and contribute to the housing and visitor centers created for the projects, completion will affect Lesotho’s economy adversely. Estimated water revenues of M 120-150 million per year are insuf¬ ficient to fill the gap. Changed circumstances may mean that Phases 2-4 of the project will never be built or, at best, will be long delayed. The demographic impact of AIDS in South Africa may significantly lessen the amount of water required. NGO critiques of big dam projects in general and of the negative environmental and social consequences of the first phase of Highlands may make acquisition of World Bank support and international funding more difficult. The cost of water from the addi¬ tional phases is considerably higher, given that water will have to be pumped rather than being transmitted completely by gravity flow. Moreover, the advent of majority rule has meant that the South Afri¬ can government is far more sensitive to the economic costs to its citi¬ zens and more skeptical of an agreement negotiated between a military regime in Lesotho and the apartheid regime in South Africa. If constructed. Phase 2 would consist of the Mashai Dam on the Senqu River, a pumping station, and a new parallel transfer and de¬ livery tunnel from Katse Dam to the Ash River in South Africa. Phase 3 would include the Tsoelike dam and pumping station down¬ stream from Mashai. Phase 4 would comprise the Ntoahae dam and pumping station 40 kilometers downstream from Tsoelike. If all four phases of the LHWP were completed, approximately 70 cubic meters of water per second would be delivered to South Africa. In 2003, a lowlands water committee began meeting to explore the feasibility of lowland dams to compensate for the water supply lost to South Af¬ rica and the water usage of the textile industry. See also DEVELOP¬ MENT WORK. LESOTHO LIBERATION ARMY (LLA). Following the failed coup of 1974, Ntsu Mokhehle and other Basutoland Congress Party (BCP) leaders determined that armed struggle against Chief Leabua Jonathan’s regime was appropriate and necessary. The problem that

1 78


they faced in preparing for such a struggle was that other African states would not knowingly assist efforts to overthrow another inde¬ pendent black African government, however illegitimate. As a result, the BCP leaders turned to an old ally, the banned and exiled PanAfrican Congress of South Africa (PAC). Basotho migrant miners were recruited for military training and sent to Libya posing as train¬ ees in the African People’s Liberation Army (APLA), the military wing of the PAC. Under these dubious circumstances, Basotho re¬ cruits soon fell out with each other, initiating the factional conflicts and lack of discipline that constantly plagued the LLA. LLA action to destabilize and overthrow the Basotho National

Party (BNP) regime began in May 1979 with explosions at Leso¬ tho’s main post office. Attacks on hotels, power substations, police stations, border posts, Lesotho Paramilitary Force barracks, BNP politicians, BCP leaders opposed to Mokhehle, and the American Cultural Center punctuated life sporadically in Lesotho. From 1979 to 1986, there were well over 100 such incidents. As Mokhehle’s as¬ sociation with the LLA became public, he swiftly became persona non grata in Botswana and Zambia, the states that had shielded him and BCP refugees. In March 1980 he published an abject confession that he had erred and promised to discontinue his association with the LLA. Thereafter Mokhehle disappeared from view, trying to make it appear that he had returned to Lesotho. More likely, he and the LLA had begun to receive assistance from the South African government that had its own agenda for destabilizing Chief Jonathan because of his growing collaboration with the ANC. At the outset of the LLA campaign, it was conceivable that finan¬ cial assistance and explosives provided by Basotho migrant mine workers could have fueled the LLA offensive without the knowledge or involvement of the South African government. The subsequent as¬ sociation of LLA with South African special forces is far more plau¬ sible than the alternative view that this was a false allegation designed to discredit Mokhehle by both the BNP regime and his BCP rivals. To be sure, the LLA itself was highly factionalized with dissi¬ dent elements operating independently beyond his control or, like a group based in Transkei, claiming to be the LLA and recruiting among BCP supporters. However, it seems highly unlikely that an armed guerrilla movement could regularly operate from South Afri-




can territory without the knowledge or tacit support of the apartheid regime. Indeed the immediate suspension of LLA attacks after P. W. Botha’s meeting with Jonathan at Peka Bridge seemed to confirm the connection. As that agreement soured, LLA attacks resumed.

Godfrey Kolisang, secretary-general of the BCP internal wing in Lesotho, argued that the BCP constitution did not provide for an armed wing and that no properly constituted party executive had ap¬ proved it. Speaking from Botswana, Tseliso Makhakhe asserted that Mokhehle was not there, but in South Africa being used by the apart¬ heid regime to keep Lesotho in turmoil. Testimony before the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission subsequently contained further allegations that Ntsu Mokhehle had interacted at the notori¬ ous Vlakplaas base with Dirk Coetzee, the commander of a death squad. Mokhehle strenuously denied these claims, admitting that he had been in South Africa on various occasions, but hiding out near the Botswana border, in the Free State in the Odendaalrus black township and, eventually, in the QwaQwa Bantustan near Lesotho. Once the Military Council permitted Mokhehle and other BCP exiles to return, LLA attacks were supposedly suspended and the or¬ ganization disbanded. However, the kidnapping of pilgrims traveling to see the Pope by LLA fighters embarrassed both the Military Coun¬ cil and the BCP and demonstrated that LLA elements remained at large. The role of former LLA fighters after Mokhehle’s 1993 elec¬ tion victory became a major source of tension between elements of the Lesotho Defence Force and the new BCP government. Rumors that the BCP planned to integrate LLA veterans in the army, possibly in command positions, reinforced the suspicions that led to military mutinies and King Letsie Ill’s 1994 coup. The LLA also became a source of conflict within the BCP because Mokhehle’s Majelathoko Faction in Parliament included former LLA commanders such as Tjaoane Sekamane and Thebe Motebang, and Molapo Qhobela’s Maporesha Faction was said to be favorably disposed to the griev¬ ances of other LLA segments. Ntsu Mokhehle’s death, his brother Shakhane Mokhehle’s defec¬ tion to the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC), aversion to the 1998 violence and the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) 2002 electoral triumph seem to have muted the LLA issue. The advanced age of many former LLA combatants and the vigorous efforts of Bo-

1 80


tswana and South Africa to professionalize the Lesotho Defence Force have largely caused the LLA to fade away.









LESOTHO PEOPLE’S CONGRESS (LPC). Formed in October 2001 when a long-standing rift in the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) came to fruition, the Lesotho People’s Congress became the formal parliamentary opposition party. Kelebone Maope, who resigned as deputy prime minister and minister of jus¬ tice when the break occurred, became the interim party leader. Its most controversial figure is Shakhane Mokhehle, the younger brother of the late prime minister, who had been excluded from the LCD Cabinet during a reshuffle shortly before the split. Before the split, the members of the new LPC had been members of the Lesiba (feather) Faction of the LCD that claimed to be the true successor to the legacy of Ntsu Mokhehle, whose given Sesotho name means “eagle.” Personality rather than policy differences were central to the split as the initial sparring between the LCD and LPC focused on control of the colors, newspapers and symbols of the party. The LCD contested the LPC decision to use a photo of the head of Ntsu Mokhehle as its electoral symbol, but was rebuffed by the High Court. The LPC gained the support of 27 former LCD members of the

National Assembly versus 45 who remained loyal to the LCD. In¬ cluded in the ranks of the defectors were several political veterans who were long-standing members of the Basutoland Congress

Party (BCP) before its split with the LCD and some former Lesotho Liberation Army combatants. The new electoral system made the decision to split less onerous since the proportional representation component seemed to guarantee that parties with a substantial fol¬ lowing would win National Assembly seats regardless of whether they carried individual constituencies (see ELECTIONS). LPC expectations were not borne out in the 2002 election as only