Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)
Lessons learnt in Boputhatswana
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