Memory, Trauma, Silences: Narratives of the 1982 Maseru Invasion
Mahula, Pulane Matsietsi
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The aim of this mini-thesis is to interrogate an incident that happened in Lesotho in 1982, where the South African Defence Force (SADF) invaded the capital, Maseru, under the guise of searching for ANC operatives and killed 42 people thirty of whom were South Africans, while the remaining 12 were Basotho citizens. A particular concern is how traumatic events are represented by witnesses, how they remember or, rather talk, about the event, and the secrets and silences which may arise. A lack of literature on this period of Lesotho's history and the Raid itself has necessitated a wider engagement with Raid as it is the first raid that involved the SADF, perpetrated in Lesotho. The first chapter draws out and highlights the complicated relationships between Lesotho and South Africa and their respective main opposition political parties, namely, the Basotho Congress Party and the overall South African liberation movements including the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress. This brings me to conclude that the 1982 Maseru Raid and subsequent ones took place on the back of a period that was burdened with gross human rights violations in Lesotho and, this can be argued to explain why the Raid is not particularly spoken about.