The Kingdom of Lesotho, a constitutional monarchy located within the east-central part of the Republic of South Africa, has an area of 11,716 sq. mi. (30,355 sq. km.) and a population of 2.29 million. Capital: Maseru. The economy is based on subsistence agriculture and livestock raising. Wool, mohair, water through the Katse Dam, and cattle are exported. ,Lesotho (formerly Basutoland) was sparsely populated until the end of the 16th century. Between the 16th and 19th centuries an influx of refugees from tribal chief Moshoeshoe I (1823-70), a series of wars with the Orange Free State resulted in the loss of large areas of territory to South Africa. Moshoeshoe II appealed to the British help, and Basutoland was constituted a native state under British protection. In 1871 it was annexed to Cape Colony, but was restored to direct control by the crown in 1884. From 1884 to 1959 legislative and executive authority was vested in a British High Commissioner. The constitution of 1959 recognized the expressed wish of the people for independence, which was attained on October 4, 1966, when Lesotho became a monarchy under King Moshoeshoe II. Following his death in an automobile accident in January 1996 his eldest son Prince Bereng Seeiso became King Letsie III on October 17, 1997. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The king of Lesotho is Chief of State.,, Rulers:,,, ,King Motlotehi Moshoeshoe II, 1966-1996,, ,King Letsi III, 1997-,, Monetary System:,,, ,1 Loti = 100 Lisente,,