MASERU – Lesotho’s former Prime Minister, Justin Metsing Lekhanya has died. The former Basotho National Party leader was born in Thaba-Tseka in 1938, was the Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Military Council of Lesotho from 24 January 1986 to 2 May 1991.
He retired from active politics in 2010 after losing BNP leadership in a vote of no confidence. He will be remembered for orchestrating a military coup that ousted Chief Leabua Jonathan in 2006. Lekhanya completed his primary and secondary education in Roman Catholic Schools. After working as a migrant mine worker in South Africa, he joined the Basutoland Mounted Police in 1960. He became the only Masotho officer heading a paramilitary Police Mobile Unit (PMU) platoon soon after its formation in 1965. During the early 1970s, he received trainings at police academies in South Africa and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and later assumed command of the PMU as a Major General in 1975. Lekhanya also oversaw its transformation into the Lesotho Paramilitary Force, later known as the Lesotho Defence Force.