Open main menu

Mahikeng, still commonly known as Mafikeng[3] and previously Mafeking, is the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa.

Mahikeng
Mahikeng marketsquare
Mahikeng marketsquare
Coordinates: 25°51′S 25°38′E / 25.850°S 25.633°E / -25.850; 25.633Coordinates: 25°51′S 25°38′E / 25.850°S 25.633°E / -25.850; 25.633
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceNorth West
DistrictNgaka Modiri Molema
MunicipalityMahikeng
Established1852[1]
Area
 • Total24.57 km2 (9.49 sq mi)
Elevation
1,500.0 m (4,921.3 ft)
Population
 (2011)[2]
 • Total15,117
 • Density620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African74.5%
 • Coloured7.5%
 • Indian/Asian7.3%
 • Caucasian9.9%
 • Other0.8%
First languages (2011)
 • Tswana73.3%
 • English0.6%
 • Afrikaans1.1%
 • Sotho3.0%
 • Other11.1%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
2745
PO box
2745
Websitewww.mahikeng.gov.za

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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

EstablishmentEdit

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.

Siege of MafekingEdit

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.

Incorporation into BophuthatswanaEdit

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 Bantustan of Bophuthatswana in the 1970s, before the adjoining town of Mmabatho was established as capital when Bophuthatswana became nominally independent in 1977.

Following a local referendum, Mafeking joined Bophuthatswana in 1980 and was renamed Mafikeng. The town was treated as a suburb of Mmabatho.[8][9][10]

Capital of North-West ProvinceEdit

Following the end of apartheid in 1994, Bophuthatswana was formally reincorporated into South Africa. With that, the merged Mafikeng and Mmabatho became capital of the new North-West Province under the name Mafikeng. In February 2010, Lulu Xingwana, the Minister of Arts and Culture changed the town's name to Mahikeng.[3]

Major facilitiesEdit

NameEdit

The name Mahikeng means "the place of rocks" in the classic Tswana language of the people of the North West province of South Africa and the surrounding country of Botswana. However, the city is commonly pronounced as Mafikeng, in the vernacular of the Tswana people of Mmabatho.

In February 2010, Lulu Xingwana, the 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 MahikengEdit

ClimateEdit

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)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 117
(4.6)
83
(3.3)
74
(2.9)
57
(2.2)
14
(0.6)
5
(0.2)
3
(0.1)
5
(0.2)
13
(0.5)
37
(1.5)
64
(2.5)
67
(2.6)
539
(21.2)
Average precipitation days 13 10 10 7 3 1 1 1 2 6 9 9 72
Source: South African Weather Service[19]
Mafikeng
Climate chart (explanation)
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[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20–26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Mahikeng". Census 2011.
  3. ^ a b c http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-02-02-xingwana-approves-28-geographical-name-changes
  4. ^ Barolong Boo Ratshidi Archived 2011-01-08 at the Wayback Machine
  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. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  6. ^ James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 254–259
  7. ^ "History of Mafikeng". Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  8. ^ "Mafikeng / Mmabatho (South Africa)". Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  9. ^ jonas (2012-08-23). "The town of Mafeking is officially surrendered by the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of Bophuthatswana, and upon its". South African History Online. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  10. ^ John Stander (April 2010). "North West High Court, Mahikeng" (PDF). Advocate. General Council of the Bar of South Africa (GCB). Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  11. ^ http://www.mahikeng.gov.za/about-mafikeng/
  12. ^ Liou, Jean. "Old South Africa collides with new in city names". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  13. ^ Jordan Pendergrass (2016). "Symposium 2015: Judicial Perspectives - Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa". Brigham Young University. International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
  14. ^ "Hip Hop African". Hip Hop African. Howard University. March 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Tseko Mogotsi: New Chief Executive Officer in South Africa". Gymmedia. August 31, 2015.
  16. ^ Katy Scott (November 29, 2016). "The new 'Girl from Ipanema' following Gisele's footsteps". African Voices. CNN. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "Neo Ramitshana". Television South Africa. 2016. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  18. ^ "About: The Forgotten Kingdom".
  19. ^ a b "Climate data for Mmabatho". South African Weather Service. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit