Many people have been made to believe that Lesotho is Basotho’s country. It was never told that Lesotho was a colonial labour reserve confinement deliberately created by the British not to have a viable economy to sustain people living in it to meet the British labour needs.
Before 1652 the land South Afrika/Azania was inhabited by four tribes. Namely the Nguni tribe, the Sotho tribe, the Khoisan and the Venda. The biggest was the Nguni tribe consisting of the Swazis, the Zulus and the Xhosas. This tribe was living at the Southern Eastern periphery of the country, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu Natal and Eastern Cape.
The second biggest tribe was the Sotho tribe consisting of the Northern Sotho (Pedi), Basotho (Southern Sotho) and Batswana. This tribe was living in the interior of the country. From Gauteng to Limpopo were the Pedi, from Gauteng to Orange River (Free State) were Basotho and from Gauteng to North West were Batswana. When the Dutch became dissatisfied of the British rule in the Cape, they penetrated to the interior of the land and crossed Orange River between 1835 and 1842 to the land inhabited by Basotho. Skirmishes started between them and Basotho. As a result the British commissioner Henry Wakelyn Smith known as Harry Smith annexed the land between Vaal River and Orange River by what was known as Orange River Sovereignty in 1848. This enraged the Dutch who were eyeing the land of Basotho for their free self-governing state. Their leader Andries Pretorius tried to organize the chiefs in the interior including Moshoeshoe against the British.
This move threatened the British who were aware that their colonial dominance relied on guns that Black people did not have, the alliance between the Black Chiefs and the Dutch would make Black people have access to guns that they would import through the Dutch. To avert this danger, the British sent Douglas Warden to confine Basotho by making what was known as Warden Lines. Basotho refused to cooperate with the confinements created for them. Harry Smith and Warden declared war against Basotho on the 30 June 1851. The Battle was called Viervoet Battle and the British were defeated. Their defeat made them more desperate, they removed Harry Smith and put Sir George Cathcart a military expect with experience to crush Basotho’s resistance. He was also defeated by Basotho in the Battle of 1852.
In 1852 by what was known as Sand River convention, the British gave independence to 5000 families of the Dutch/Boers on land of Basotho they had annexed and officially gave it to them in 1854 by what was known as Bloemfontein convention and it was named Republic of Orange Free State. Since then Basotho were made foreigners on their land. Conditions of Sand River convention clearly stated that the Dutch must not trade in arms with Basotho, they must never make any alliance with them and the British committed themselves to support the Dutch with arms while preventing Basotho to acquire the same to defend themselves, the British also committed themselves not to make any alliance with Basotho. Since then Basotho were bombarded by the arms sold to the Dutch by the British until 1868 when all the land of Basotho was annexed and their resistance completely crushed. In 1867 there was a discovery of diamond in Kimberly, the British needed labour for mining. They therefore created a colonial confinement labour reserve known as Lesotho by what was known as Aliwal North Treaty in 1869 under the pretext of protecting Basotho. According to its topography Lesotho is 89% resource less mountains. Basotho are presently unable to live in it sustainably and most of them eke out a living in South Africa under difficult conditions of arrests and poor living conditions of illegal immigration. Basotho are victims of historic and systemic colonial social engineering estranged from their own land and their own people for colonial interests.