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.
Read more about Lucas Mangope and the release of political prisoners in 1991
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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.
- Image 1: www.media.maps.com/magellan/Images/BOPHUT-W1.gif
- img2: www.ucdp.org.za/images/Kgosi_Dr_LM_Mangope.jpg
- SA History Online Grade 12 Classroom: Socio – Economic development from 1976 to 1994