The former president of Bophuthatswana and leader of the South African United Democratic Party, Lucas Manyane Mangope has passed away.
Leader of Bophuthatswana has led former homelands leader during the apartheid era died on Thursday at age 94. He died at a local hospital in Zeerust with his wife and other family members by his side.
Mangope founded the United Christians Democratic Party and later joined the democratic alliance da). Mangope was based in the North West Province; he was the president of Bophuthatswana until democracy in 1994.
Bophuthatswana meaning gathering of the Tswana people was one of many independent homelands which only apartheid government in South Africa recognised, the homelands now forms part of the North West province.
His reign was characterised by widespread corruption and mismanagement. He was widely criticised for being a puppet of the apartheid regime.
Bophuthatswana only benefited the Tswana people, although during his time of reign universities, roads and infrastructures were built.
There has been mixed reactions on his death on social media with people voicing out on the leader that he was during the time when he led and the infrastructure that he has built will remain part of his legacy during his reign as the leader of the homelands.
His death sparked a debate on how history will remember him certainly a figure that continues to divide opinion. People are divided in what way the leader can be remembered as some has accused him of using police brutality to suppress people.
To other people he is going to be remembered for the role he took during the time there was a turmoil in the country.
The era that he was a leader during the time was not to be judged because he had to protect his people their legacy and the territory which the apartheid government to take away.
Though he can be judged for only wanting the Tswana tribe to benefit the North West province has infrastructure benefited from his legacy.
The family received messages of condolences from different political parties and South Africans but their greatest consolation was the offer of a state funeral by the North West province.
In the statement about the funeral, Mangope’s funeral will be held on Saturday while a memorial service is planned for Wednesday and could be held at North West capital Mahikeng, where Mangope’s “political activities happened”.
By: Mahlatse Makhafola