Republic of Bophuthatswana
Repaboleki ya Bophuthatswana
Republiek van Bophuthatswana
Motto: "Tshwaraganang Lo Dire Pula E Ne" (
"If we stand together and work hard we will be blessed with rain" a
Anthem: Lefatshe leno la bo-rrarona b (Tswana)
This Land of our Forefathers
Location of Bophuthatswana (red) within South Africa (yellow).
|President and National Assembly|
• National Assemblyc
|24 regional representativesd|
12 non-voting specialistsd, e
|1 June 1972|
• Nominal Independence
|6 December 1977|
• Coup d'état
• Coup d'état
• Insurrection / coup d'état
|27 April 1994|
|1980||44,109 km2 (17,031 sq mi)|
|Currency||South African rand|
Bophuthatswana was the second Bantustan to be declared an independent state, after
On 27 April 1994, it was reintegrated into South Africa with the coming into force of the country's interim constitution. Its territory was distributed between the new provinces of the
The area comprising former native reserves was set up as the only
The territory became nominally independent on 6 December 1977. Bophuthatswana's independence was not recognized by any government other than those of South Africa and
Arguing in favour of independence, President Mangope claimed that the move would enable its population to negotiate with South Africa from a stronger position: "We would rather face the difficulties of administering a fragmented territory, the wrath of the outside world, and accusations of ill-informed people. It's the price we are prepared to pay for being masters of our own destiny."
During a parliamentary debate in the
While the majority of news reports echoed these official declarations, there were others which opined that Western critics should "suspend judgment for a time," and despite its generally critical stance on South Africa's policies,
Despite its official isolation, however, the government in Mmabatho managed to set up a trade mission in
Bophuthatswana maintained an unofficial embassy in
On 10 February 1988 Rocky Malebane-Metsing of the People's Progressive Party (PPP) became the President of Bophuthatswana for one day when he took over the government through a military coup. He accused Mangope of corruption and charged that the recent election had been rigged in the government's favour. A statement by the defence force said "serious and disturbing matters of great concern" had emerged, citing Mangope's close association with a multimillionaire Soviet emigre.
In 1990, a second coup attempt took place in which an estimated 50,000 protesters demanded the president's resignation over his handling of the economy.
After Mangope had asked for help from the South African government, he declared a state of emergency and cut telephone links to the territory "for political reasons," claiming that "normal laws had become inadequate."
In the beginning of 1994 with South Africa heading for democratic elections, the President
With unrest growing and rumors of ANC supporters massing at Bophuthatswana's borders, Mangope invited General
They themselves were shot at by members of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF) and the Police and forced to retreat. One member of the AWB travelling back in a blue Mercedes Benz shot at some people along the road, which was then followed by members of the Bophuthatswana police opening fire at the car. The driver, Nicolaas Fourie, and his two passengers promptly surrendered and were disarmed. After the media were allowed to photograph the badly injured prisoners, they were then executed at point blank range by a Bophuthatswana policeman, Ontlametse Bernstein Menyatsoe. These killings effectively spelt the end of white right-wing military opposition to democratic reforms.
On 12 March 1994, Mangope was deposed as President of Bophuthatswana by the South African Government and the
With the end of apartheid after the first multi-racial elections and the coming into force of the Interim Constitution of South Africa on 27 April 1994, Bophuthatswana ceased to exist and once again became part of South Africa.
The 7 enclaves that formed the country were absorbed into the