Ntsu Mokhehle

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Ntsu Mokhehle (26 December 1918 – 6 January 1999) was a Lesotho politician. He served as Prime Minister of the country from 2 April 1993 to 17 August 1994 and from 14 September 1994 to 29 May 1998.

Mokhehle was born in Teyateyaneng in 26 December 1918. He is a graduate of Fort Hare University and MSC degree. He joined the African National Congress as a student in Fort Hare university and was instrumental in formation of ANC youth League. He return to Lesotho continue with politics and founded the Basutoland Congress Party (renamed Basotho Congress Party after independence in 1966) in 1952 and led the party until 1997 when he resigned and formed a new political party, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).He fought colonial rule in Lesotho and demanded greater self-rule. His party Basutoland Congress Party won many seats during the first elections held in Lesotho in 1960. In 1965 elections, Basutoland Congress Party came second to Basotho National Party of Leabua Jonathan. In 1970 Basotho Congress Party won the elections and the Prime minister Leabua Jonathan refused to relinquish power, suspended the constitution and declared state of emergency. He seized power by force and many were imprisoned without trial for over a year. It was clear Chief Leabua was an antidemocrat and he ruled through the barrel of the gun. In 1974, Basotho Congress Party tried unsuccessfully size power by attacking police stations and following that many were arrested, killed and reign of terror by Chief Leabua continued. Ntsu Mokhehle fled Lesotho and went into exile and resided in Botswana, Zambia and South Africa.

The dictator Leabua Jonathan was overthrown by the Military, which facilitated the return of the exiled. Basotho Congress Party of Ntsu Mokhehle won the 1993 election by landslide and he ruled until 1998. He led Basotho Congress Party until 1997 when he resigned and formed a new political party, Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD). He did not attend an LCD conference in late January 1998 due to poor health and did not seek to be re-elected as party leader, but the party re-elected him anyway. After Mokhehle insisted he could not lead the party any longer, a new conference was held and Deputy Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was elected as party leader on 21 February.[1] The LCD won the parliamentary election that followed, and Mosisili replaced Mokhehle as Prime Minister.

Mokhehle died in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 6 January 1999.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lesotho Congress for Democracy Vacillates Before Electing New Leader", Summary of Events in Lesotho, Volume 5, Number 1, First Quarter 1998, trc.org.ls. Archived February 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
Preceded by
Elias Phisoana Ramaema
Prime Minister of Lesotho
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Hae Phoofolo
Preceded by
Hae Phoofolo
Prime Minister of Lesotho
1994–1998
Succeeded by
Pakalitha Mosisili