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Mahikeng

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Mahikeng

Mahikeng
Mafikeng, Mafeking
Mahikeng is located in South Africa
Mahikeng
Mahikeng
 Mahikeng shown within South Africa
Coordinates:
Country South Africa
Province North West
District Ngaka Modiri Molema
Municipality Mafikeng
Established 1852[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 24.57 km2 (9.49 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 15,117
 • Density 620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 74.5%
 • Coloured 7.5%
 • Indian/Asian 7.3%
 • White 9.9%
 • Other 0.8%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Tswana 53.3%
 • English 18.6%
 • Afrikaans 14.1%
 • Sotho 3.0%
 • Other 11.1%
Postal code (street) 2745
PO box 2745
Website www.mafikeng.gov.za

Mahikeng – formerly, and still commonly, known as Mafikeng[3] and historically Mafeking in English (see name history below) – is the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa. It is best known internationally for the Siege of Mafeking, the most famous engagement of the Second Boer War.

Located close to South Africa's border with Botswana, Mahikeng is 1,400 km (870 mi) northeast of Cape Town and 260 km (160 mi) west of Johannesburg. In 2001, it had a population of 49,300. In 2007, Mafikeng was reported to have a population of 250,000 of which the CBD constitutes between 69,000 and 75,000. It is built on the open veld at an elevation of 1,500 m (4,921 ft), by the banks of the Upper Molopo River. The Madibi goldfields are some 15 km (9.3 mi) south of the town.

History

Mahikeng is the headquarters of the Barolong Boo Ratshidi[4] people. The town was founded by Molema Tawana (c. 1822 – January 1882).[5] Born in Khunwana during the difaqane period, Molema was the son of Kgosi Tawana of the Tshidi Barolong. Molema's brother and close confidant, Montshiwa, later became chief. During the period that the Tshidi Barolong resided at Thaba Nchu, where they found refuge during the difaqane, Molema was converted to Christianity by the Wesleyan missionaries based there. Molema's son and heir, Silas Molema, was educated at Healdtown College. (Silas helped his nephew Sebopioa Molema get to the United States about 1904 to study law at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.[6])

In 1857 Molema led an advance guard to scout out the area along the Molopo River. This was a familiar area as they had previously lived in nearby Khunwana. Molema settled at Mafikeng (known in its early years as “Molema’s town"),[5] while the main body of the Barolong under Montshiwa followed. But Montshiwa did not feel safe at Mafikeng due to the close presence and encroachment of the Boers in the Transvaal. He led his followers to Moshaneng in the territory of the Bangwaketse in present-day Botswana.

Molema remained at Mafikeng to ensure that the Barolong retained a presence there. Several of Montshiwa’s other brothers were also stationed at crucial sites in the proximity of the Molopo. Molema had to use all his diplomatic skills on several occasions to prevent Boer incursion and settlement near Mafikeng. He has been described as a man of "strong personality and exceptional gifts...and Montshiwa's chief counsellor in vital matters". (S.M Molema:35) After negotiations with Molema, Montshiwa decided to return to Mafikeng in 1876.

Molema was a firm believer in Western education, having attended Healdtown; he opened a school for the Barolong once they had settled in the district. Molema became a farmer and businessman, as well as advising his brother Montshiwa. He died in 1882. One of his sons, Silas Molema, became a Doctor and historian of the Barolong. (see S.M. Molema). The settlement was named Mafikeng, a Setswana name meaning "place of stones".[7] Later British settlers spelled the name as "Mafeking". The Jameson Raid started from Pitsani Pothlugo (or Potlogo) 24 miles (39 km) north of Mafeking on December 29, 1895.

At the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899, the town was besieged. The Siege of Mafeking lasted 217 days from October 1899 to May 1900, and turned Robert Baden-Powell into a national hero. In September 1904, Lord Roberts unveiled an obelisk at Mafeking bearing the names of those who fell in defence of the town. In all, 212 people were killed during the siege, with more than 600 wounded. Boer losses were significantly higher.

Although it was outside the protectorate's borders, Mafeking served as capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate from 1894 until 1965, when Gaborone was made the capital of what was to become Botswana. Mafeking also briefly served as capital of the pre-independence Bantustan of Bophuthatswana in the 1970s, before the adjoining town of Mmabatho was established as capital. Following a local referendum on the issue, Mafeking joined Bophuthatswana in 1980, three years after Bophuthatswana was awarded independence, and was renamed Mafikeng, and treated as a suburb of Mmabatho. [8][9][10]

Following the end of apartheid in 1994, the merged Mafikeng and Mmabatho was instated as capital of the new North-West Province under the name Mafikeng.

Major facilities

North-West University

Mafikeng Train Station

Mmabatho Stadium

Mafikeng Airport

Mafikeng Game Reserve (4800 Ha)

Botsalano Game Reserve (5800 Ha)

Molemane Eye Nature Reserve

Name

The town's name was first spelt by British settlers as Mafeking, but the name reverted to Mafikeng in 1980 following its incorporation into Bophuthatswana.[10] In February 2010, Lulu Xingwana, the then Minister of Arts and Culture, approved the town's name to be changed again to Mahikeng.[3] Despite this the town's ANC-run local government and most local residents still refer to the town as Mafikeng both informally and formally.[11][12]

Notable people from Mahikeng

  • Dr Silas Molema: Medical doctor, businessman and historian of the Barolong.
  • Judge Yvonne Mokgoro: Former Justice at Constitutional Court of South Africa.
  • Credo Mutwa: Lived for numerous years and created arts village of Lotlamoreng, located on the outskirts of Mafikeng.

Climate

Climate data for Mafikeng
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40
(104)
39
(102)
38
(100)
34
(93)
31
(88)
27
(81)
28
(82)
32
(90)
36
(97)
38
(100)
38
(100)
40
(104)
40
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 31
(88)
30
(86)
29
(84)
25
(77)
23
(73)
20
(68)
20
(68)
23
(73)
27
(81)
29
(84)
30
(86)
31
(88)
27
(81)
Average low °C (°F) 18
(64)
17
(63)
15
(59)
12
(54)
7
(45)
4
(39)
4
(39)
6
(43)
11
(52)
14
(57)
16
(61)
17
(63)
12
(54)
Record low °C (°F) 8
(46)
7
(45)
4
(39)
3
(37)
−3
(27)
−6
(21)
−6
(21)
−4
(25)
−2
(28)
0
(32)
7
(45)
1
(34)
−6
(21)
Precipitation mm (inches) 117
(4.61)
83
(3.27)
74
(2.91)
57
(2.24)
14
(0.55)
5
(0.2)
3
(0.12)
5
(0.2)
13
(0.51)
37
(1.46)
64
(2.52)
67
(2.64)
539
(21.22)
Avg. precipitation days 13 10 10 7 3 1 1 1 2 6 9 9 72
Source: South African Weather Service[13]
Mafikeng
Climate chart ()
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
117
 
31
18
 
 
83
 
30
17
 
 
74
 
29
15
 
 
57
 
25
12
 
 
14
 
23
7
 
 
5
 
20
4
 
 
3
 
20
4
 
 
5
 
23
6
 
 
13
 
27
11
 
 
37
 
29
14
 
 
64
 
30
16
 
 
67
 
31
17
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: SAWS[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20–26)". pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Mahikeng". Census 2011. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-02-02-xingwana-approves-28-geographical-name-changes
  4. ^ Barolong Boo Ratshidi
  5. ^ a b B. Mbenga and A. Manson. "North West History – Tawana Molema". Historical encyclopaedia of South Africa's North-West Province. Department of Economic Affairs & Tourism, North West Province. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South AfricaJames T. Campbell, , New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 254–259
  7. ^ "History of Mafikeng". Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  8. ^ "Mafikeng / Mmabatho (South Africa)". Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  9. ^ http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/town-mafeking-officially-surrendered-republic-south-africa-republic-bophuthatswana-and-u
  10. ^ a b John Stander (April 2010). "North West High Court, Mahikeng". Advocate. General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB). Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  11. ^ http://www.mafikeng.gov.za
  12. ^ http://mg.co.za/article/2011-08-09-old-south-africa-collides-with-new-in-city-names
  13. ^ a b "Climate data for Mmabatho". South African Weather Service. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 

External links

  • Mafikeng Reflections – A Unique Blog on the Mafikeng NWU Experience
  • North-West University Mafikeng Campus
  • Mafikeng Local Municipality– www.mafikeng.gov.za
  • Mafikeng's Premier Business & Tourism Gateway– www.mafikeng.co.za
  • http://www.nwhist.co.za/view-person.php?personid=33
  • McGonagall on the Relief of Mafeking– William McGonagall's poem and a brief history of the siege.
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