Bophuthatswana

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The Bophuthatswana Territorial Authority was created in 1961, and in June 1972 Bophuthatswana was declared a self-governing state. On 6 December 1977 this ‘homeland’ was granted independence by the South African government. Bophuthatswana’s capital city was Mmabatho and 99% of its population was Tswana speaking. This new country’s independence was recognised by South Africa and the Transkei only. In order to gain independent country status internationally, its President, Lucas Mangope, launched a campaign to build top-class facilities, including hospitals, schools and sports stadia. Bophuthatswana’s application to be declared an independent state outside the rule of South Africa was turned down in 1986. In 1993 the country’s population was 2 489 347. It was estimated that in the same year, her military force was some 4 000 soldiers.

Lucas Mangope became the first Prime Minister of Bophuthatswana in 1972, and retained the position until independence in 1977 after which he was appointed as the first President of the country. He remained in this position until 1994, when the country was reincorporated into South Africa. On 10 February 1988 Rocky Malabane-Metsing became the President of Bophuthatswana for a day when he took over government through a military coup. The situation was quickly reversed by the following day by the intervention of the South African government and Defence Force, and Mangope continued his presidency.

Its main political parties were the Christian Democratic Party and the Progressive People’s Party that was established in 1987 and later banned. Prior to 1994 a group of Afrikaner right-wingers attempted to stage a coup in Bophuthatswana, but the army and police dealt with the intruders, killing several on live television.

In March 1994 Bophuthatswana was placed under the control of two administrators, Tjaart van der Walt and Job Mokgoro. The small, widespread pieces of land were reincorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994. Bophuthatswana is part of the North West Province under Premier Edna Molewa.

Ciskei, Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Xhosa people

The Ciskei Bantustan in the Eastern Cape was created as an enclave for the South Africa’s Xhosa-speaking people as part of apartheid racial segregation. Despite Government rhetoric that this ‘independent state’ would encourage cultural protection and separate development of these people, the Ciskei along with other Bantustans served to provide White South Africa with cheap, controlled labour pools.

The working population of Zwelitsha township, first declared the capital of Ciskei, were mostly employed in nearby ‘White’ towns such as Grahamstown. Later a new capital of Bisho in King Williams town was declared.

Ciskei history dates to the early 1920s, when the South African Union government restructured the Bunga system that was applied to administer the area under British colonial rule. The Bunga, which was an advisory council, comprising traditional authorities and the educated elite held little power. The Bunga local unit consisted of a headman or the traditional inkundla (local assemblies) system. Before colonial rule these were autonomous and their decisions were collective. Within the Bunga system, local assembly authority was subject to the Magistrate’s Court. The Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 withdrew their remaining power, bringing them under direct control of the government. Traditional authorities were thus bureaucratised. Chiefs and headmen were no longer accountable to their people, but to the government. The purpose of Bantu Authorities was to pave the way for the creation of Bantustans and racial segregation. This caused much anger.

The government of Ciskei was formed in 1961 after the South African government declared it a separate administrative territory. In 1972 the status was elevated to self-governing territory. This coincided with stronger efforts to forcibly remove Xhosa-speakers to Ciskei. On 4 December 1982, Ciskei became an independent republic, recognised only by the South African government and other ‘independent’ homeland states in South Africa.

Most South Africans rejected and fought against the idea of Ciskei. “Ciskeians” lost their South African citizenship. The Ciskei remained with its neighbour, Transkei, among the most neglected areas of South Africa. Jobs in the Ciskei were limited to government or government-sponsored projects, and South African-sponsored factories. Most of these factories were neither economically viable nor legal entities in terms of labour practice. They were mostly Taiwanese owned emerged out efforts to attract foreign investors with promises of cheap labour and repression of unions. These factories became the target of popular anger in the final days of the Apartheid regime. After the 1994 democratic elections in South Africa, bantustans were dissolved and the area known as Ciskei , restored to the Eastern Cape province.