Jump to navigation

Vol 39 No 19

Published 25th September 1998


Militants and monarchs

Two troubled kingdoms have embroiled South Africa in some messy power-broking

Pretoria’s African National Congress government finally lost its diplomatic virginity with the deployment of 600 South African soldiers in the early hours of 22 September to put down a mutiny in Lesotho. This was the first foreign deployment of South African military muscle since the demise of the last National Party government in May 1994. Under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Pretoria’s troops moved quickly to secure two military bases near the capital, Maseru, and the major dam in Lesotho’s Highlands water complex, which supplies most of the industries in the Johannesburg area. Some 200 troops from Botswana joined the South African contingent later in the day but the operation quickly descended into chaos as marauding bands of mutinous Lesotho soliders looted Maseru and set fire to government offices. At least 20 people died in the first day of fighting.

End of preview - This article contains approximately 1336 words.

End of preview

Subscribers: Log in now to read the complete article.

Account Holders: Log in now and use your Account Credit to buy this article. No Credit? Top up your Account now.

If you are logged in, but still cannot access the full text of this article, email customer services or telephone us on +44(0)1638 743633.