Friday

Lesotho-South Africa Relations

In relation with Lesotho and South Africa from the time just before Lesotho's independence until 1990, South African History says:
1964, 30 May The leader of the Basutoland National Party, Chief Leabua Jonathan, indicates that Basutoland is so economically dependent on South Africa that the imposition of economic sanctions is not feasible.

1965, 08 May Chief Leabua Jonathan, leader of the Basutoland National Party which is to form the Protectorate's first government, tells political refugees that they are welcome to stay provided they do not use Basutoland as a base for operations against South Africa.

1966, xx xxx Phyllis Naidoo banned. Arrested for ten days for breaking banning order. She leaves for Lesotho where she becomes a victim of a parcel bomb.

1966, 01 Feb All South African refugees are to report to the Basutoland police for documentation or face deportation to South Africa. A closer check is to be kept on political asylum figures.

1966, 28 Dec The Lesotho government announces it will deport eight South Africans, whom it describes as a danger to peace.

1967, 10 Jan B.J. Vorster and Chief Jonathan of Lesotho meet in Cape Town. A joint statement emphasizes their belief in peaceful co-existence. Economic aid and technical assistance are also proposed.

1967, 18 Jan The Lesotho government invites all South African political refugees to make formal application to leave the country, to indicate proposed dates of departure and countries of choice. Transit rights through South Africa will be arranged.

1967, 03 Mar An official announcement by the government of Lesotho indicates that preparations for anti-South African political refugees to be flown from Lesotho across South Africa to other African states to the north have reached an advanced stage.

1967, 13 Mar South Africa signs treaty with Lesotho on the amendment of the insured parcel agreement of 27 June 1963 and 01 July 1963.

1967, 03 May An official announcement by the government of Lesotho indicates that preparations for anti-South African political refugees to be flown from Lesotho across South Africa to other African states to the north have reached an advanced stage.

1967, 27 Sep South Africa signs treaty with Lesotho on air services.

1968, 4 Feb The Prime Minister of Lesotho, Chief Jonathan, is reported to be prepared to co-operate with the South African government.

1969, 12 Feb The South Africa Act Amendment Bill, repealing the provisions of the South Africa Act of 1909 for the possible incorporation into South Africa of Rhodesia and the former High Commission Territories (Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland), is passed with the approval of the Opposition at its second reading.

1969, 11 Dec South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland sign a new customs agreement in Pretoria, to come into operation on 01 March 1970.

1970, 30 Jan The Prime Minister announces that the government is watching the situation in Lesotho following the elections and that necessary measures
have been taken to ensure the safety of South Africans there.

1970, 11 Dec South Africa signs a customs agreement with Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

1971, 04 Oct Chief Leabua Jonathan, Prime Minister of Lesotho, warns that violent confrontation between blacks and whites will be an inevitable consequence of apartheid. Mr Vorster responds with restraint, in the interest of friendship.

1972, 04 May The Foreign Minister announces that South Africa and Lesotho have decided to establish reciprocal consular representation.

1973, 24 Aug South Africa signs treaty with Lesotho relating to the establishment of an office for a Lesotho government labour representative in South Africa.

1974, 8 Apr The Prime Ministers of Lesotho and South Africa meet to clear
up certain misunderstandings and reaffirm their belief and determination that both countries base their relations on the principle of good neighbourliness.

1974, 08 Oct The Minister of Bantu Administration and Development states that, in 1973, 475,387 foreign Africans were working in South Africa. Of these 36,480 were from Botswana, 148,856 from Lesotho. 139,714 from Malawi, 129,198 from Mozambique, 3,249 from Rhodesia, 10,032 from Swaziland and the remainder from other African territories.

1974, 05 Dec A comprehensive monetary agreement is signed between South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

1975, 27 Oct South Africa signs an amendment to a customs union agreement of 11 September 1969 with Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

1976, 24 Nov School pupils and students from Soweto who have fled to Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho to escape continuous Security Police searches for ringleaders of unrest, have rejected the governments amnesty offer which expired on 22 November 1976. An estimated 700 have fled since June, more than 500 of them to Botswana, whose government has requested international assistance in the matter.

1977, 12 Feb The Prime Minister of Lesotho, Leabua Jonathan, claims the whole of the Orange Free State, Matatiele in Natal, the Herschel district in the Transkei and the Southern Sotho homeland of Qwa Qwa for Lesotho - areas, he says, fraudulently taken from it during the Basotho wars.


1977, 13 Nov The Anglican Bishop of Lesotho, the Rev. Desmond Tutu announces that he is giving up his current post to become Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) which is taking an increasingly radical position
against apartheid.

1978, 06 Jan Donald Woods, banned editor of the Daily Dispatch (East London)
reaches Britain with his family, having fled South Africa via Lesotho and Botswana. The pro-government Afrikaans press launches a virulent campaign against him: the British and American press in contrast give wide and sympathetic coverage
to the story of his escape.

1979, 08 Jan Signs agreement with Lesotho on issuing of notes and coin.

1979, 12 Dec Signs agreement with Lesotho on the issue and use of a road camp site on Cobham State Forest.

1980, 06 May Black PEBCO activist Thozamile Botha breaks his banning order and escapes to Lesotho.

1980, 20 Aug The Prime Minister meets Lesotho's Chief Leabua Jonathan in an attempt to improve relations between the two countries.

1981, 28 Jan Signs loan agreement with Lesotho.


1981, 06 Apr The Heads of State of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland meet in Mbabane, to discuss South African military incursions and subversive activities against black Southern African states.

1981, 11 Jun Lesotho and South Africa decide to establish a consultative committee to resolve misunderstandings arising from the movement of people across their common border.

1982, xx xxx South African army raids Maseru, Lesotho, killing 42 people.

1982, 23 Nov Swaziland and Lesotho take steps to clear themselves of suspicion of allowing insurgents of the ANC to use their territory as springboards for attacks on South Africa.

1982, 09 Dec South African forces raid houses in Maseru, killing thirty members of the ANC and seven women and children caught in the crossfire. A chain of sabotage incidents within South Africa are blamed on the ANC command structure in Lesotho. The incursion is widely condemned

1983, xx xxx By the end of 1983, neighbouring states appeared reluctant to provoke South Africa by openly showing active support for the ANC ?? but they did not turn their backs completely on the ANC either.

1983, 26 Mar The Lesotho government accuses South Africa of launching raids into Lesotho. South Africa denies this.

1983, 11 Apr Chief Leabua Jonathan, Prime Minister of Lesotho, tells the National Assembly that Lesotho is faced with a war with South Africa.

1983, 26 May Traffic flow slows at the border posts between South Africa and Lesotho is reported following bomb explosions in Pretoria and Bloemfontein,
for which the ANC office in Lesotho first claims, and later denies, responsibility.

1983, 03 Jun Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, meets Lesothos Minister of Foreign Affairs. They agree on the need to curb cross-border guerrilla activity and
to place their relations on a more amicable footing.

1983, 28 July South Africa and Lesotho exchange prisoners across the Caledon River, heralding a new rapprochement and a lifting of strict border control measures.

1983, 15 Aug The Lesotho Foreign Ministry appeals for international help to stop South Africa applying an economic squeeze designed to force Lesotho to expel up to 3,000 political refugees.


1983, 08 Sep The Lesotho government announces that an undisclosed number of South African refugees have decided voluntarily to withdraw from Lesotho. On 10 September it airlifts the first batch of twenty-two ANC members to Mozambique and Tanzania. Another 200 will follow later.

1983, 11 Sep The Lesotho Foreign Ministry protests to South Africa, following further clashes with guerrillas in the Leribe district, and an eight-hour attack against Maryland Roman Catholic mission near the border.

1984, 30 Jul South Africa has held up supplies of British weapons to Lesotho and the UK has complained several times about the delays, officials said today.

1984, 14 Aug Lesotho rejects South Africas proposal for a draft security treaty.

1985, xx xxx Another raid on Lesotho is followed by a coup. Jonathan Leabua's administration falls.

1986, 25 Jan Sixty ANC refugees are airlifted out of Lesotho to counter South Africa's threat of a blockade against that country.

1986, 26 Mar South Africa and Lesotho issue a joint statement that their respective territories are not to be used for acts of terrorism against each other.

1986, 18 Apr South Africa signs bilateral monetary agreement with Lesotho.

1986, 24 Oct South Africa signs treaty on Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Exchange of notes with Lesotho regarding the privileges and immunities accorded to the members of the Joint Permanent Technical Commission.

1987, 30 Apr South Africa signs an agreement with Lesotho in regard to the establishment of trade missions.

1989, 01 Apr South Africa signs monetary agreement with Lesotho.
The list is longer and includes other entries, related to other countries and other periods. I have listed here a sample concerning Lesotho-RSA relations for the time Leabua Jonathan was Prime Minister of Lesotho.