Related Links




  About Lesotho Menu
History of the Basotho
Arrival of Missionaries
White Settlers
The Orange Free State
Seqiti War and British Annexation
Resumption of Direct Rule
Politics of Independence
The Embassy of The Kingdom of Lesotho in Washington will be closed on the following dates in 2010 in observance of the holidays indicated here

Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho

2511 Massachusetts
Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC, 20008

Tel.: 1-202-797-5533
Fax 1-202-234-6815

Detailed Contacts

  ABOUT LESOTHO - Seqiti War and British Annexation

Seqiti War and British Annexation

For the next few years an uneasy peace prevailed. Moshoeshoe, real'ising his precarious position, sought British protection from Sir Philip Wodehouse, the new High Commissioner, who arrived in the Cape in 1861. Hostilities with the Orange Free State again broke out in the Seqiti War of 1865. Thaba Bosiu was itself besieged but not taken and a boer commandant, Louw Wepener, was killed, during an assault on the mountain.

A short armistice followed during which Moshoeshoe renewed his entreaties to Wodehouse for protection. In 1867 Free State forces again overran much of Moshoeshoe's land and conquered almost every lowland fortress except Thaba Bosiu.

In this hour of crisis, Sir Philip Wodehouse finally secured the permission of the British Cabinet to annex the country. On 12 March 1868, Moshoeshoe's prayer was granted, and by proclamation of Sir Philip Wodehouse, Lesotho became a British territory.

Moshoeshoe died in 1870 soon after seeing his country saved. He was buried as have been nearly all principal chiefs since, in the graveyard on the summit of Thaba-Bosiu.

The after-effects of the war were serious. Casualties had been heavy, missionaries expelled and mission stations taken over, livestock lost, and, worst of all, a large area of land had been annexed by the Orange Free State. In the Convention of Aliwal North of February 1869, the boundaries of Lesotho were laid down in their present form.

The British protection sought by Moshoeshoe proved to be a mixed blessing, for Britain found it convenient to annex Lesotho to the Cape Colony which in 1872 was granted internal self- government by London. The move was unfortunate for Lesotho, since the Cape Colony soon began to apply to Lesotho the same laws and methods which it found convenient for administering other areas already annexed by force.

Matters came to a head with the imposition of the "Peace Preservation Act", by which all fire-arms were to be surrendered. Within a few months the whole countryside was in open rebellion.

The Gun War of 1880-81 cost the Cape Government dearly in men and money. Civil strife created further administrative problems. By 1883 chronic misgovernment induced the Cape Government to request Britain to restore direct rule over Lesotho, in return for which it was even prepared to pay any deficit in the annual recurrent budget.

  Lesotho Embassy in USA

Designed by Computer Business Solutions