Tiny Lesotho faced with a difficult p...

Tiny Lesotho faced with a difficult past, present and future

There are 101 comments on the The National story from Jun 8, 2006, titled Tiny Lesotho faced with a difficult past, present and future. In it, The National reports that:

Wracked with HIV/Aids, which has cut life expectancy quite dramatically, the land-locked kingdom of Lesotho, formerly Basutoland under British rule, nevertheless enjoys political stability under His Majesty ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The National.

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Dr Bernard Leeman

Cremorne, Australia

#1 Jun 11, 2006
The Basotho monarchy was established by Lepoqo, better known as Moshoeshoe. While still a youthful cattle raider he confided to his age-set companion Makoanyane that they should form an empire. Consequently, after relocating to Thaba Bosiu, Moshoeshoe married around 200 times in order to establish a Basotho empire ruled by his sons that would stretch across the area later known as the Orange Free State with an outlet to the sea in the Transkei.

This vision lasted until about 1981 when Ntsu Mokhehle turned traitor and abandoned the joint APLA-LLA attempt to involve Lesotho in the South African liberation struggle. By that time the Basotho Monarchy had become irrelevant. Bereng Constantine Seeiso (Moshoeshoe II)initially tried to become a political force in 1966 but even after exile was too cowardly to lead his people against the Roach-McFall-Leabua regime or denounce the horrors of 1974. I was there in England when we tried to make him take an active role against Leabua. He refused.

The present king has no use. The symbol of Lesotho is not a king any more but the migrant worker, the destitute peasant, and the sufferer from AIDS. Although this present king does not indulge in the gross piggy greed of the King of Swaziland, the Kings/Paramount Chiefs/Regent of Lesotho - Griffith, Seeiso,'Mantsebo, Moshoeshoe II and this king have done nothing for their country except enjoy perks.
Dr Bernard Leeman

Cremorne, Australia

#2 Jun 11, 2006
And another thing. The King should take an aggressive stance against South Africa and demand the return of the Lost Lands, without which Lesotho is not viable. Since Letsie II's death, the ANC has never been a friend of Lesotho. Luthuli opposed the formation of BAC, the SACP/ANC targetted the Rand Basotho as the major obstancle following the Freedom Charter coup and the SACP/ANC funds of Joe Matthews cost the BCP the 1965 election. SACP/ANC rejoiced when BCP was denied government in 1970 and then recognised and assisted Leabua to stop the LLA-APLA alliance succeeding. Mbeki's brother, Jama, opposed SACP/ANC and it cost him his life.

A weak bull of a king is of no use to Leostho.
Thandie

Boulder, CO

#3 Jun 15, 2006
First I would like to know who Dr. Bernard Leeman is to claim so much knowledge of Lesotho. Secondly, if you are not a Mosotho, please seek Basotho's opinion on this. Actually, seek the very poor peasant's opinion, and you will find that the social role that Letsie plays is very crucial to Basotho symbolically. Yes, he can assume more roles, and involvement, but we cannot as a nation dismiss his worthiness to us. As a professional social scientist, these are the types of things we look at. And maybe we can do research about it.
Mohapi C

Maseru, Lesotho

#4 Aug 3, 2006
I totally concur to Thandie, hence, my plea to those interested in amassing knowledge about our beloved Lesotho, should and I repeat should seek help from the locals. Because eventually the image they potray to the outside world does not really paint th eactual situation, either positively or negatively.
Ntsukunyane Mphanya

Cremorne, Australia

#5 Aug 5, 2006
Bernard Leeman, as you can read in my History of the BCP, worked for BCP and LLA for 16 years. He risked his life for BCP by enlisting as a Major in the LPF for three months, serving udnercover as Lekhanya's "assistant". He then paid for LLA from Tanzania to Boyswana. His book is the best account of Lesotho politics. In 1998 the BCP thanked him for his work in restoring democracy to Lesotho. Leeman was a Lieutenant-General in APLA, serving under Potlako Leballo.
matsoho

Lesotho

#6 Oct 13, 2006
I here write as a Mosotho man,who has been taught and read a lot about Bernard Leeman,this man was very active in the struggles of southern Afican countries including Lesotho.He went out to gain military support for the BCP,though he failed,he further contributed by collaborating with Leballo and Mokhehle(Ntsu),and was once requested by Ntsu(while he was in exile in Zambia) to join the Lesotho Military under false identity in order to ascertain whether peace moves were genuine or not,which he did,and then went back to report.His report from the military was the basis of laying the plans of the 1986 coup in Lesotho,and the plan succeded.in this regard you can learn that Leeman knows a lot about Lesotho,actually he knows more than we can anticpate.
Proud Lesotho Citizen

Johannesburg, South Africa

#7 Oct 17, 2006
It does not matter who Dr Leeman his, and it is nonsense to suggest that only Basotho can speak or write about Lesotho. Thandie and Mohapi appear to be Basotho but you seem more ignorant about your own country and people than Dr Leeman. So, why should I listen you? Why should you have more rights to write about Lesotho than those who know better, irrespective of who they are, their race or country of origin? If you love Lesotho and its people, please stop this nonsense because it will trap Lesotho eternally in the throes of backwardness.
BlackPearl Out of Africa

London, UK

#8 Oct 18, 2006
Easy now, Proud Lesotho Citizen!! No need to be harsh!! I just wonder, do you really disagree with those 2? Whoever Dr Leeman is and whatever he may be in the history of the political development of Lesotho, I for one have a problem with his language, espcially as, indeed, someone who is NOT a Mosotho, a little more respect would make his points a bit more appealing and worthy of attention. He touches on critical topical issues of concern, but why does he sound so bitter about our kings and chiefs?! For someone with the 1st hand knowledge that he's supposed to have, why doesn't he use it constructively to positively contribute to what is going on and offer some insight and guidance drawing from his experiences. This kind of language is bound to trigger reactions such as that of Thandie and Mohapi, to others who may also not know him, and not take this crucial debate he initiated forward. The issue of the monarchy/chieftainship is currently a potentially emotive one, for what it symbolises vs its effecacy, and he has no place just trashing it like that when not reflecting the views of Basotho, whom it directly affects.
Bernard Leeman

Cremorne, Australia

#9 Oct 30, 2006
I went to the king at Wantage in 1978 with Qhobela Molapo of the BCP, a few hours after we had found Fred Roach nearby at Wallingford where he was landlord of "The Town Arms". We wanted the king to join the struggle. He refused. The western educated elite (Basotho and European) and the senior chiefs were of no use against Leabua. Twice the chieftaincy saved Lesotho - once under Lepoqo/Moshoeshoe and the other time during the Gun War. Had Seeiso lived perhaps the chieftaincy would have still retained some meaning. With the failure of MT and MFP, followed by Bereng Moshoeshoe's cowardice and the Leabua catastophe, chieftaincy and kingship have little or no relevance in Lesotho.
BlackPearl Out of Africa

London, UK

#10 Nov 2, 2006
Dr Leeman, i am not sure i follow what exactly this contribution from you was meant to achieve. Once again you hurl an attack at our chieftaincy, based on issues/events of many years ago, with what is still to me sounding like a bitterness i cannot understand. At some point you even contradict yourself!!! You are supposed to be knowledgeable about Lesotho's history but i frankly do not feel like you are using that constructively and to offer guidance towards a better situation. What exactly are we to gain from your inputs into this debate? Kapa u ne u iketsetsa ts'omo feela?!
Matsoho

Maseru, Lesotho

#11 Nov 16, 2006
Dr. Leeman,in as much as u feel that chieftaincy and kingship have no relevance in Lesotho,but have u considered the Basotho culture? i personally feel that each and every nation in the world that will develop is bound to be clear of their culture and heritage in order for them to determine their origins as the starting point in their development,what i mean is "in order to advance in life ,u have to know who u are,where u come from and hence u can determine where u are are going.
therefore,the issue of king and chiefs cannot be ommited.
Tesele

Cape Town, South Africa

#12 Nov 21, 2006
Mohapi le Thandi, ke bona eka bothata ba kutlo kapa kutloisiso bo teng ho lona kapa ho e mong oa lona.
What you guys should be learning out LEEMAN'S phrases is the evolution of our country's politics. You grew up,(probably) knowing the significance of MORNACHY. Times have changed and they are still changing. Just be objective and try to see if our mornachy has any meaning and use to the people. If at all you find its importance, believe me it's very much open to scrutiny.
Now, Thandi and Mohapi, the purp[ose of this forum is not only to discuss these issues, learning is another important aspect of this forum.
toalatsa-feela

Maseru, Lesotho

#13 Jan 3, 2007
Ntate oa lekhooa ka lehlohonolo moro khotla hao okoloe mafura;rona baahi ba mona re rata borena bo boholo ba Lesotho. Batho ba heno mono Australia ba ile ba tsoara referendum ea hore na ba ntse ba thabela ho busoa ke Mofumahali?'Me ba re E!!!!joale there ia a huge difference pakeng tsa ho ba botsibi le hO PHOQA phomola tau ea mercenary o phetse hle! O ke o advocate for litokelo tsa Ma Aborigine a sotloang ke ba 'mala oa heno. They are in a more precarious situation than us, sniffing petrol, abusing drugs, marginalised. Charity begins....
Motlotleki a phelele Lesotho le Basotho

La chaba la chesa linyonyana mapheo
monna motsamai

Bern, Switzerland

#14 Jan 3, 2007
Dr Bernard Leeman wrote:
The Basotho monarchy was established by Lepoqo, better known as Moshoeshoe. While still a youthful cattle raider he confided to his age-set companion Makoanyane that they should form an empire. Consequently, after relocating to Thaba Bosiu, Moshoeshoe married around 200 times in order to establish a Basotho empire ruled by his sons that would stretch across the area later known as the Orange Free State with an outlet to the sea in the Transkei.
This vision lasted until about 1981 when Ntsu Mokhehle turned traitor and abandoned the joint APLA-LLA attempt to involve Lesotho in the South African liberation struggle. By that time the Basotho Monarchy had become irrelevant. Bereng Constantine Seeiso (Moshoeshoe II)initially tried to become a political force in 1966 but even after exile was too cowardly to lead his people against the Roach-McFall-Leabua regime or denounce the horrors of 1974. I was there in England when we tried to make him take an active role against Leabua. He refused.
The present king has no use. The symbol of Lesotho is not a king any more but the migrant worker, the destitute peasant, and the sufferer from AIDS. Although this present king does not indulge in the gross piggy greed of the King of Swaziland, the Kings/Paramount Chiefs/Regent of Lesotho - Griffith, Seeiso,'Mantsebo, Moshoeshoe II and this king have done nothing for their country except enjoy perks.
Dr Leeman,

Your observations are quite startling for a "political commentator" who wants to be accepted as an expert on Lesotho contemporary politics.It is not clear how based on your clandestine activities on behalf of the liberation movements and struggle against apartheid you have been able to reach this conclusion that Lesotho does not need its monarchy.
Here is my advice to you:Apply your skills and knowledge to contributing to ongoing national debates on how best to address the current socio economic challenges we are facing.If you do this, you will be relevant.If you find this unappealing, you may lead us to wonder whether your frustration is not a result of the fact that your so called "BCP comrades" totally ignored you once they got into office in 1993 and you have never recovered from that.By the way, just to refresh your memory, Me and You met in 1993 and you told me your story and my advice to you then was "go to Lesotho, your comnrades are in power".
For an Australian, it is quite baffling that here you are preaching about the uselessness of a monarchy.At least the King of Lesotho resides in Lesotho, where does the Australian Head of State reside?I will tell you, at BUCKINGHAM PALACE.
monna motsamai

Bern, Switzerland

#15 Jan 3, 2007
Ntsukunyane Mphanya wrote:
Bernard Leeman, as you can read in my History of the BCP, worked for BCP and LLA for 16 years. He risked his life for BCP by enlisting as a Major in the LPF for three months, serving udnercover as Lekhanya's "assistant". He then paid for LLA from Tanzania to Boyswana. His book is the best account of Lesotho politics. In 1998 the BCP thanked him for his work in restoring democracy to Lesotho. Leeman was a Lieutenant-General in APLA, serving under Potlako Leballo.
Minister Mphanya, Its nice to read your comments regarding your "comrade".How exactly did Dr Leeman "restore" democracy in Lesotho?Im cureous because as you will admit this is an important fact in our political development and it needs to be properly noted.Furtrhermore, if he was so instrumental to the success of BCP, why is it that your cabinet did not acknowledge this contribution?
One last thing.Im cureous as to what you are doing in Australia at the same internet address as Dr Leeman.Are yopu staying with him or are you actually one and the same person?Just asking.
Monyokolane- Westonaria

South Africa

#16 Jan 3, 2007
Monna motsamai, se ka ipotsa lipotso tse ngata ntate. Dr Leeman le Minister Mphanya ke liea-thoteng li bapile. mohlomong ke monna le mosali, etsoe australia e tletse ka banna ba nyalaneng!
monna motsamai wrote:
<quoted text>
Minister Mphanya, Its nice to read your comments regarding your "comrade".How exactly did Dr Leeman "restore" democracy in Lesotho?Im cureous because as you will admit this is an important fact in our political development and it needs to be properly noted.Furtrhermore, if he was so instrumental to the success of BCP, why is it that your cabinet did not acknowledge this contribution?
One last thing.Im cureous as to what you are doing in Australia at the same internet address as Dr Leeman.Are yopu staying with him or are you actually one and the same person?Just asking.

Since: Dec 06

Cape Town, South Africa

#17 Jan 3, 2007
Dr Bernard Leeman wrote:
The Basotho monarchy was established by Lepoqo, better known as Moshoeshoe. While still a youthful cattle raider he confided to his age-set companion Makoanyane that they should form an empire. Consequently, after relocating to Thaba Bosiu, Moshoeshoe married around 200 times in order to establish a Basotho empire ruled by his sons that would stretch across the area later known as the Orange Free State with an outlet to the sea in the Transkei.

This vision lasted until about 1981 when Ntsu Mokhehle turned traitor and abandoned the joint APLA-LLA attempt to involve Lesotho in the South African liberation struggle. By that time the Basotho Monarchy had become irrelevant. Bereng Constantine Seeiso (Moshoeshoe II)initially tried to become a political force in 1966 but even after exile was too cowardly to lead his people against the Roach-McFall-Leabua regime or denounce the horrors of 1974. I was there in England when we tried to make him take an active role against Leabua. He refused.
The present king has no use. The symbol of Lesotho is not a king any more but the migrant worker, the destitute peasant, and the sufferer from AIDS. Although this present king does not indulge in the gross piggy greed of the King of Swaziland, the Kings/Paramount Chiefs/Regent of Lesotho - Griffith, Seeiso,'Mantsebo, Moshoeshoe II and this king have done nothing for their country except enjoy perks.
Bernad your perception of the value of Lesotho Mornachy is very parochial. You evaluate its value based on material contribution irrespective of other numerous contributions that we as Basotho nation attach much value. Unless you are Mosotho at heart you will never get to understand certain things. I appeal to you to stop confusing our people on the pretext that you are an authority on Lesotho political history while advancing your own political agenda. We as Basotho despite our differences pay common allegence to our King and we honour him to remain a symbol of unity without any political allegience. People like you are very dangerous to us since you strategecally want to drag our King into active politics which we hate.

I urge you to stop doing this for the peace our our small but beloved Kingdom.

Khotso Pula Nala.

Molimo o Boloke Lesotho le Basotho khotsong ea Moshoeshoe.
SHINEY

United States

#18 Feb 28, 2007
WHAT??????????

“BETTER LESOTHO FOR ALL”

Since: Feb 07

MOHALE`S HOEK MAPHUTSENG

#19 Mar 1, 2007
I dont like what you are saying about my king. You are talking shit. Votsek.

“BETTER LESOTHO FOR ALL”

Since: Feb 07

MOHALE`S HOEK MAPHUTSENG

#20 Mar 1, 2007
Observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Bernad your perception of the value of Lesotho Mornachy is very parochial. You evaluate its value based on material contribution irrespective of other numerous contributions that we as Basotho nation attach much value. Unless you are Mosotho at heart you will never get to understand certain things. I appeal to you to stop confusing our people on the pretext that you are an authority on Lesotho political history while advancing your own political agenda. We as Basotho despite our differences pay common allegence to our King and we honour him to remain a symbol of unity without any political allegience. People like you are very dangerous to us since you strategecally want to drag our King into active politics which we hate.
I urge you to stop doing this for the peace our our small but beloved Kingdom.
Khotso Pula Nala.
Molimo o Boloke Lesotho le Basotho khotsong ea Moshoeshoe.
KEA LEBOHA KAHO HLAKISETSA LEKHOA LENA LA SATANE HORE HARE BATLE MORENA OA RONA ABE POLITICALLY INVOLVE AND EVENTUALLY WILL BE CORRUPTED.

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