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Mafikeng

From Academic Kids

Mafikeng is the capital of the North West Province, South Africa, 870 miles NE of Cape Town and 492 miles SSW of Bulawayo by rail, and 162 miles in a direct line W by N of Johannesburg. Population (1904) 2,713, (1996) 44,200, (2001) 49,300. It is built on the open veldt, at an elevation of 4,194 feet, by the banks of the Upper Molopo River, is 9 miles W of the western frontier of the defunct Transvaal and 15 miles S of the southern boundary of Botswana. The Madibi goldfields are some 10 miles south of the town.

Mafikeng was originally the headquarters of the Barolong tribe of Bechuana. The town was founded in the 1880s by British mercenaries who were granted land by a Barolong chief. The settlement was named Mafikeng, a local Tswana word meaning "place of stones". Later British settlers spelt the name as Mafeking. It was from Pitsani Pothlugo (or Potlogo), 24 miles north of Mafeking, that the Jameson Raid started, on December 29, 1895.

On the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899, the town was besieged. The famous Siege of Mafeking lasted for 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 over 600 wounded. Boer losses were significantly higher.

Mafikeng served as the capital of the Bechuanaland protectorate (even though it was outside the protectorate's borders) from 1894, until 1965, when Gaborone was made the capital of what was to become Botswana.

Mafeking briefly served as capital of the pre-independent black homeland of Bophuthatswana in the 1970s before the adjoining town of Mmabatho was established as the capital. In 1980 the spelling Mafikeng was restored and following the end of apartheid in 1994, Mafikeng and Mmabatho were merged and made the capital of the newly created North West Province.

External links

Template:South Africa Provincial Capitalsaf:Mafikeng de:Mafikeng nl:Mmabatho

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