Why did the Phuti/Phuth people under Moroosi revolt against the British between 1880 to 1881?

Why did the Phuti/Phuth people under Moroosi revolt against the British between 1880 to 1881?

  • The British desire to disarm the Basuto yet the latter saw no reason for the confiscation of their valuable weapons.
  • The refusal of the Basuto to hand over their guns left the British with no option but war.




  • The character of the new cape governor Sir Gordon Sprigg dragged the cape into war with Basuto.
  • Long term enmity between the Basuto and the whites
  • Strong leadership provided by men like Moroosi and Lerothodi
  • The need by the Basuto to regain their political independence from the British. The Sotho had lost their independence in 1868
  • The death of Mosheshe; a political messiah in 1870 left no leader to promote friendship with the British.
  • The British had introduced Hut and Gun taxes that were not liked by the Basuto. Besides, the methods of collection were bad
  • The British had planned to increase Hut tax which the Basuto had come to know of.




  • The taking of the Basuto land by the British was not welcomed the Africans .For example after 1868 the British took land in southern Basutoland for white settlement.
  • Appointment of a white magistrate Mr. Hope who was not liked by the Basuto.
  • Mr. Hope was arrogant and refused to recognize the customary procedures of the Basuto.
  • Undermining the African culture by the British also led to war
  • The long military history of the Basuto as a strong nation that had even survived the Mfecane encouraged them into war.




  • The British act of imprisoning Sotho leaders. For example in 1878, a British local magistrate arrested the Son of chief Moroosi .The Phuti people stormed in and released the prisoners causing war.
  • Killing of the Basuto leaders such as Moroosi.

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