Dr Ntsu Mokhehle

Honorary Degree Conferred: 
Doctor of Law
Year awarded: 
Nursing Science

Ntsu Mokhehle, (born Dec. 26, 1918, Teyateyaneng, Lesotho—died Jan. 6, 1999, Bloemfontein, S.Af.), Lesotho politician who led government opposition both from inside the young nation and, for decades, from exile; in 1993, with the nation’s first democratic elections in 23 years, he became prime minister, serving until May 1998. Mokhehle graduated (1946) with honours from Fort Hare University, Alice, S.Af., and three years later earned an M.S. in parasitology. At the time he founded (1952) the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP), he was working as a high-school teacher. The nationalist BCP, the Basutoland National Party (BNP), and other groups opposed British control over Lesotho (then called Basutoland), including its system of administration by tribal chiefs. The BNP gained control in 1966 of the newly independent nation’s government, and in opposition Mokhehle led the BCP, which served as a voice of Pan-Africanism in the fledgling nation. In the elections of 1970, Mokhehle’s party was on the verge of victory when Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan declared a state of emergency, nullified the election results, suspended the constitution, and arrested opposition leaders. In 1974 Mokhehle’s party led a failed revolt, and he was forced into exile.

Coutersy of Encyclopedia Brittanica