Correspondence and papers of Bernard Leeman on planned coup against the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Chief Leabua Jonathan, July-Oct 1970. Including correspondence with the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the Basotho Congress Party (BCP), notes on arms supplies and the activities of the South African Political Police.
Lesotho Coup, 1970
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 101 ICS 46
- Dates of Creation1970
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description1 box
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Lesotho, formerly known as Basutoland, became a British Protectorate in 1868. It was annexed to Cape Colony in 1871, but became a separate British Colony in 1884, and was administered as one of the High Commission Territories in Southern Africa (the others being Bechuanaland , now Botswana, and Swaziland). Modern party politics began in 1952 with the founding of the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP, renamed the Basotho Congress Party in 1966) by Dr Ntsu Mokhehle. At the first general election in 1965 the majority of seats in the new legislative assembly were won by the Basutoland National Party (BNP, renamed Basotho National Party in 1966), a conservative group, which had the support of the South African government. Following the election, Moshoeeshoe II, the paramount chief, was recognised as king. The BNP leader, Chief Leabua Jonathan, becamer Prime Minister. Basutoland became independent, as the Kingdom of Lesotho in October 1966. A General election was held in January 1970, when the opposition BCP appeared to have won a majority of seats in the National Assembly. Chief Jonathan declared a state of emergency, suspended the constutution and arrested Dr Mokhehle and other leaders of the BNP. The election was anulled and the county effectively passed under the Prime Minister's control. In Jan 1974 Chief Jonathan survived a coup attempt but he was deposed by the military, led by Maj Gen Justin Metsino Lekhanya in Jan 1986.
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Deposited at ICS by Bernard Leeman, date unknown.
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Catalogued to item level (see link to repository catalogue).
Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.
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