Journalists have been having a field day ridiculing the recent “coup” in Lesotho.
For African journalists, it turns out to be a joke on themselves — especially the notion that Lesotho should be SA’s 10th province.
Unlike SA, which was decided by the colonisers — the Boer republics and the areas annexed by the British Empire — the King of Lesotho was significant in the founding of his country. King Moshoeshoe 1 got on a ship to England to negotiate that the Queen of England should refrain from any attempt to annex his land.
The result was an undertaking by the British Empire not to do so and further to protect Lesotho from other colonisers — hence Lesotho was a British protectorate, not a colony.
The tragedy is not whether Lesotho exists on its own, but the fact that there is minimal development of its citizens to be sufficiently creative to buttress poverty and want in their land. Africans seem obsessed only with power. Occupying positions of power is seen as the only means by which they think one can secure income, status and prosperity.
Had Lesotho been in Europe, it would have publicised its history. King Moshoeshoe would be right up there in the consciousness of the world as one of the greatest diplomats of his time. With fewer than 2-million citizens, it would have unleashed the creative potential among themselves through proper education, and poverty would be minimal.
Conflict, if any, would have been about incorporation of the area dubbed the Free State as their ancestral land. Similarly, Botswana would be reclaiming what is called North West. AmaZulu would be fighting the “war” Scotland is engaged in.
The desire for nations to own and control their own land is not for any other reason than to engage in self-development, entrench their language, their culture and their history, which they would “sell” to the world.
The incorporation of Lesotho into the white-created and black “managed” SA will not bring its citizens any improvement in their lives as leadership in SA is still about hogging power and not human development.
If African countries concentrated on their own development and strove for excellence, they would not look so comical.
– Dr Kenosi Mosalakae, Houghton