General issues: Kingdom 1966-Present
Country name on general issues: Lesotho
Currency: 1 Rand = 100 Cent 1966-1979, 1 Loti = 100 Lisenti 1979-Present
Population: 973 000 in 1966, 2 074 000 in 2013
Political history Lesotho
Lesotho is a kingdom in southern Africa. In the early 19th century a number of Sotho tribes unite to form the kingdom of Basuto – the Sotho are one of the Bantu peoples in southern Africa. In the mid 19th century the Basuto kingdom is faced with Boer expansion from neighboring Orange Free State and ask for British protection. Thus, Basutoland becomes a British protectorate in 1868. The borders of Basutoland are defined through a treaty with Orange Free State in 1869. Basutoland, in 1910, remains outside of the Union of South Africa formed in that year. In 1965, Basutoland gains self government to become the independent kingdom of Lesotho in 1966.
Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy. Lesotho will know a period of political instability in the 1980’s and 1990’s leading to an intervention in 1998 of Botswana and South Africa, with the support of the Southern African Development Community, an intergovernmental organization of 15 countries in southern Africa. Since 1998, Lesotho has politically been relatively stable.
The main population group are the Sotho that live both in Lesotho and in neighboring South Africa. The economy largely depends on agriculture and remittances from Sotho working in South Africa.
Postal history Lesotho
In Lesotho the first stamps used are those of Cape of Good Hope from 1880, those to be superseded by the stamps of the Union of South Africa from 1910. As the protectorate of Basutoland, Lesotho issues stamps from 1933. The kingdom of Lesotho issues stamps from 1966 – the first issue to commemorate independence.