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Adolphe Mabille

1836-1894. Swiss missionary to South Africa. Born in Switzerland, he went to Lesotho in 1860 with the Paris Evangelical Mission. Apart from enforced absences and an expedition to the E Transvaal in 1873, he spent his entire ministry at Morija, where he operated a printing press and established normal, Bible, and theological schools. He initiated a local synod but aroused resentment by his negative attitude to tribal custom. He was the trusted adviser of Chief Moshweshwe and his successor Letsie. The British annexation of Lesotho in 1868, which prevented Boer domination, owed much to his advocacy. When the Cape Colony, which took over the administration, tried to disarm the Basuto in 1879, Mabille opposed the measure but vainly urged the chiefs to obey. During the subsequent rebellion he presented the Basuto case in England and helped to obtain the transfer of Lesotho to direct British rule in 1884.