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Bophuthatswana conflict (1994)

1994 Bophuthatswana conflict
Part of the end of apartheid and drawdown to South African general election, 1994

The tribal homeland of Bophuthatswana in early 1994
Date 11 March, 1994
Location South Africa
Result

Opposition-SADF victory

  • Removal and abolition of Lucas Mangope's regime
  • Disestablishment of bantustan
Territorial
changes
Incorporation of Bophuthatswana into North West Province
Belligerents

Government of Bophuthatswana
Afrikaner Volksfront


AWB
BDF Mutineers
SADF[1][2]
Commanders and leaders
Lucas Mangope
Constand Viljoen
Jan Breytenbach
Douw Steyn
Eugène Terre'Blanche
Georg Meiring
Strength
Volksfront: 4,500[3]
AWB: 600[4]
Security Forces: 10,002[5][6]
Casualties and losses
Volksfront: 1 killed[7]
AWB: 4 killed, 3 wounded[8]
BDF: 50 dead, 285 wounded[9]

The 1994 Bophuthatswana conflict was a popular uprising against, and subsequent removal of, Lucas Mangope's regime in Bophuthatswana, a South African bantustan created during apartheid. The conflict - which was formally suppressed by the South African Defence Force on March 12 - resulted from wildcat strikes, a wave of support for the African National Congress then sweeping the territory, mutiny in the armed services, and Mangope's refusal to participate in general elections. It has been remembered largely for the public shooting of three right-wing Afrikaner extremists by a black officer of the Bophuthatswana Police. This proved to be a public relations disaster for the far right and demoralised Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging militants hoping to preserve white minority rule.[10]

Contents

  • Historical background 1
    • Prelude 1.1
  • Outbreak 2
    • Civil Service strike 2.1
    • The Invasion and AWB involvement 2.2
    • Killing of Wolfaardt, Uys, and Fourie 2.3
  • Amnesty hearing 3
  • Aftermath 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Historical background

A product of territorial apartheid, Bophuthatswana - popularly nicknamed "Bop" by her nationals - accepted nominal independence in 1977 from South Africa's Nationalist administration.[11] The second national unit to reach the status of a bantustan with limited but hypothetically increasing powers of self-rule, Bophuthatswana adopted as her governing document an act drafted by the former Tswana Territorial Authority under South African guidance.[12] South Africa was adamant that elections should take place as early as 1972, but there were no political parties in the new region. This changed rapidly with the ascension of Kgosi Lucas Mangope, who founded the Lekobo la Setshaba sa Bophuthatswana (English: "Bophuthatswana National Party"). Mangope targeted rural votes and carried an easy majority in the new parliament.[12]

Although Bophuthatswana was not recognised as a unique entity by any foreign state (with the possible exception of Israel),[13] an estimated two million Tswana lost their South African citizenship accordingly.[11] The 1977 Constitution made it a self-governing democracy inside the Republic of South Africa, with an area of jurisdiction spanning six black-populated districts of the designated Tswana area. Excluded were zones earmarked for white persons encompassing much of the capital and industry.[11]

Prelude

Under Mangope's rule, political freedoms in Bophuthatswana deteriorated. Opponents of the state were subject to banishment, arrest, or extrajudicial harassment. The

  • Tebbutt Commission report

External links

  1. ^ A Pillar of Apartheid falls
  2. ^ 72 days that shaped South Africa
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ TRC Final Report
  5. ^ Bophuthatswana South African history online
  6. ^ 'Policing Agencies: 1994, Prior to Amalgamation: South Africa'. Website of the South African Police Service.
  7. ^ THE DEATHS IN THE MMABATHO/MAFIKENG AREA
  8. ^ Historical AWB
  9. ^ Hearings
  10. ^ Forging Democracy From Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador by Elizabeth Wood, (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) Cambridge University Press 2003
  11. ^ a b c d e f The End of an Absurdity
  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ Sasha Polakow-Suransky, The unspoken alliance: Israel's secret relationship with apartheid South Africa (Random House Digital, 2010)
  14. ^
  15. ^ The day the military threat to the new order evaporated
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
return p

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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


References

Whereas many Bantustan leaders and elites had entered their own parties into the first multiracial elections in 1994 or joined the ANC, Mangope and his supporters stayed out. However, in 1999 the United Christian Democratic Party, a continuation of the ruling party in Bophuthatswana, entered elections. The party remained a political force in North West Province, where most of the former homeland lies, until the 2014 elections, when it lost its last national and provincial seats.

Aftermath

Menyatsoe was granted amnesty by the TRC.[18]

Menyatsoe was not charged with murder. He applied for amnesty to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), on the grounds that the killings were politically motivated. The application was opposed by the Wolfaardt, Uys and Fourie families. At the hearing in August 1999, Manyatsoe was cross-examined by AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche. Menyatsoe claimed that his emotions were raised by his seeing a wounded mother, who had been hit when the AWB had fired from their vehicles into a nearby crowd. According to other journalists dozens of paramilitaries had been firing into traditional houses along the road out of Bophuthatswana. Terre'Blanche pointed out that the three soldiers were wounded by the time Menyatso shot them and that they no longer posed any threat. Menyatso claimed that he acted on his own initiative because of the absence of a commanding officer. Terre'Blanche countered that he could not claim he acted as a policeman because his function was to protect high-ranking government officials, i.e. Mangope, that he was a part of a mutiny, and that the AWB and AVF were an ally of Mangope's regime brought in to quell rioting and suppress the mutiny.[17]

Amnesty hearing

AWB Colonel Alwyn Wolfaardt, AWB General Nicolaas Fourie and Veldkornet (Field Cornet) Jacobus Stephanus Uys were driving a blue Mercedes at the end of convoy of AWB vehicles that had been firing into roadside huts.[16] Members of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force returned fire and hit the driver of the car, Nicolaas Fourie, in the neck, another gunman, Alwyn Wolfaardt, in the arm and the remaining passenger, Jacobus Uys, in the leg. Wolfaardt stumbled out of the car and brandished a handgun but was advised by the onlookers not to start shooting. A Bophuthatswana police officer relieved him of the weapon. Another policeman tried to fire on nearby journalists but his rifle jammed and was promptly confiscated. Ontlametse Menyatsoe approached and spoke to Wolfaardt, asking if he was a member of the AWB. Wolfaardt confirmed this, reporting that they had been dispatched from Naboomspruit. He then pleaded for the lives of his two injured fellows. In response, Menyatsoe shot the three wounded men dead at point blank range with an R4, shouting angrily, "Who do you think you are? What are you doing in my country?" The shooting was captured by the nearby journalists and broadcast worldwide.

The single most publicised event of the conflict was the killing of three wounded AWB members who were shot dead at point-blank range in front of journalists by a Bophuthatswana police constable, Ontlametse Bernstein Menyatsoe.

Alwyn Wolfaardt pleads for his life.

Killing of Wolfaardt, Uys, and Fourie

The Volksfront Commando withdrew in a much more orderly fashion later that afternoon, accompanied by a military escort to avoid the general public.

In a filthy mood, the AWB pulled out of the Mmabatho Air Force Base via column, leaving their Volksfront compatriots behind. Many of the personnel refused to remove their insignia and serve under Commandant Steyn as agreed. Driving recklessly through Mafikeng and downtown Mmabatho, some AWB fighters continued to shoot black citizens in the street. Crowds of angry Bophuthatswana residents, some white, mostly black, eventually moved to block the convoy's way, chanting defiant slogans. An Afrikaner with an automatic weapon fired several rounds over their heads to disperse the human roadblock.

During the evening of negotiations several civilians were injured by AWB forces, who fired upon looters and passerby alike.[15] Greg Marinovich, journalist and member of the Bang-Bang Club, stated that one AWB member present had remarked in wry Afrikaans, "Ons is op 'n kafferskiet piekniek" ('We are on a kaffir-shooting picnic'). In response, the predominantly black Bophuthatswana Defence Force, agitated by their superiors' inability to control the white gunmen, threatened to attack Afrikaner militias.

That evening, Colonel Antonie Botse was displeased to see AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche and the Volksfront commandant together at the air base, insisting that the former remove his supporters immediately. Jack Turner of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force reiterated Botse's request but Terre'Blanche insisted that Mangope had requested his presence. Turner was concerned that his troops and the local black civilians would panic when they saw AWB personnel, due to Terre'Blanche's established reputation as an extremist. Terre'Blanche finally agreed to leave Bophuthatswana, and his men ordered to remove all AWB insignia from their uniforms.

Meanwhile, the South African Defence Force prepared to intervene, ostensibly to protect South Africa's Bophuthatswanan embassy and the lives of their nationals in the bantustan. Unwelcome AWB paramilitaries called in from Ventersdorp and the Western Transvaal (especially Witbank and Rustenberg) were also advancing. Their largest contingents took up positions near Mafikeng and Rooigrond, respectively.

Following more protests and increasing rumors of ANC supporters massing on Bophuthatswana's established borders, Mangope asked Viljoen and the Volksfront to immediately assist in keeping the peace. The Afrikaners were hastily rallied and mobilised, under the command of retired South African Defence Force Colonel Jan Breytenbach. Led by one of Breytenbach's lieutenants, Commandant Douw Steyn, a large Volksfront force mustered at the Mmabatho Air Force Base early on 11 March.

By 10 March, the situation was only worsening and President Mangope was advised to leave Bophuthatswana for his own protection. He promptly left his country via helicopter at two o'clock on Thursday and flew to safety in Motswedi. Later that afternoon, a group of anti-Mangope policemen presented a petition to the South African ambassador, Professor Tjaart van der Walt, calling for Bophuthatswana to be re-integrated into the republic against their president's wishes. By late afternoon virtually all law enforcement authority had broken down and the military was left with the responsibility of maintaining order.

The Invasion and AWB involvement

On 8 March 1994, the president invited General South African Army (from 1976–1980) and the entire South African Defence Force (from 1980–1985).

By Wednesday, March 11, authority had imploded. Striking staff seized the Bophuthatswana Broadcasting Corporation and took Mangope's son Eddie hostage, students boycotted classes at Mmabatho University, and the civil servants were joined by thousands of others demanding incorporation into South Africa and the right to campaign for the election.[14] When the security forces failed to take action, widespread disorder ensued. Businesses in Mmabatho, including the lucrative Mega City Shopping Centre, were looted or razed. A desperate Mangope made the decision to call on outside forces for assistance in restoring order.

In February, the executives of fifty-two Bophuthatswanan ministries formed the so-called "Mmabatho/Mafikeng Crisis Committee", initially to address their role in the post-election period. When it became apparent that Mangope would continue to oppose territorial integration for the near future the committee went on strike.[11] Since Bophuthatswana was set to be disestablished by the South African government on April 27, they demanded their wages - and civil service pensions - well in advance of that date. Lacking treasury funds, Mangope simply issued no response.[3] This alarmed the Bophuthatswana Police, which joined the strike immediately. Anarchy ensued and troops were deployed to restore order. Despite their efforts mass looting became widespread as appliances or furniture worth hundreds of rand began disappearing overnight.[3]

Civil Service strike

Outbreak

On January 1, 1994, de Klerk restored South African citizenship to Bophuthatswana residents but balked at the notion of removing its government from power. Mangope agreed to convene with representatives from the Electoral Commission of South Africa yet refused to consider participating in the upcoming multiracial elections. A commission member subsequently warned that "...his [Mangope's] intransigence made confrontation inevitable".[11]

[3].right to assembly Tswana voters were appalled; opposition mounted but remained subject to escalating repression. Human rights groups complained that citizens were barred from attending voter education programmes and only Mangope loyalists enjoyed the [12] opened up the possibility of reincorporating the fragmented bantustans into a unitary South African state. Although all tribal homelands ceased to exist in 1993 under an interim constitution, Mangope remained committed to the principle of Bophuthatswana's "independence".negotiations towards ending apartheid's subsequent F.W. de Klerk's release in 1990 and Nelson Mandela [11]

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