South Africa's pro-apartheid leader Lucas Mangope passes away

Esequiel Farfan
Enero 21, 2018

Mangope died at the age of 94 at his home in Lehurutshe in the North West on Thursday.

He has been remembered on Friday morning as a great but controversial leader, who was a hero to some and a villain to others.

Mangope was president from 1977 to 1994 of Bophuthatswana, one of South Africa's "self-governing" homelands, or bantustans fragmented islands of rural poverty where most black South Africans were literally confined under white rule. His reign was characterized by widespread corruption and mismanagement.

He was deposed in 1994 after he refused to allow free campaigning in Bophuthatswana as well as not wanting to take part in the general election that was to be held during that year.

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Mangope was the founder of the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), but in 2011 he was sacked from the party for allegedly making unilateral decisions and expelling senior party members.

At the time of his death, Mangope had rescinded power to his son, as chief of his clan, after having left politics in 2014.

Although Mr. Mangope was an outspoken opponent of the democratisation project in South Africa as led by the ANC, the ANC continued to maintain a tone of respect and willingness to engage in search of a common objective of national liberation and democracy in South Africa.

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