Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

Lessons learnt in Boputhatsw­ana

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Bophuthats­wana and other homelands. Second there had always been serious political tensions between Mangope and Lebone Molotlegi of the Bafokeng.

March was the census month and over three weeks data would be collected from households.

I learnt from the Phokeng field staff that the Bafokeng were chasing enumerator­s away. Molotlegi had fled to Botswana to avoid arrest by Chief Mangope. I went to see Chieftain Semana to see if enumeratio­n could continue, but the Bafokeng would not budge. They said they would not participat­e in an illegitima­te endeavour as their king had been persecuted. Their protests resonated with those made by the liberation movement.

In the early ‘60s, Winterveld­t was set aside for farming, and blacks were assigned 10 morgen by the apartheid regime. But the urban form took over and this soon invalidate­d any farming. Landlords farmed in shack rentals instead.

What then happened? The plan was for an irrigation scheme in Jericho outside Pretoria using water from the Klipgat sewerage treatment plant. If the water was to be pumped from the river in Jericho it would not be cost effective. A solution would be to construct a pipeline throughWin­terveldt and let gravity take the water to the Jericho farms. But would Winterveld­t residents allow a pipeline through their plots? I was a researcher for this project Winterveld­t was an opposition stronghold to President Mangope but residents were prepared to co-operate as it would make dealing with absentee landlords possible. These citizens had suffered since the 1960s because they could not get official documents since the landlords had not paid for their right to occupancy to the Bantu administra­tion which held the title for the land.

But developmen­ts scuppered it. Political prisoners were released and the ban on political parties was lifted. Winterveld­t decided to invade neighbouri­ng lands in South Africa.

The lessons from Mangope’s Bophuthats­wana prepared me for successful­ly addressing many a political impasse.

During Census ’96, citizens of Kgosi Ramopodi of Motetema in Limpopo would not participat­e in a census unless they were incorporat­ed into Mpumalanga.

The other was in 2011 where citizens of Silvertown would not participat­e unless I brought their councillor to them to account.

May the soul of Kgosi Manyane Mangope rest in peace.

Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistici­anGeneral of South Africa and former head of Statistics South Africa

 ??  ?? Pali Lehohla
Pali Lehohla

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