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Lucas Mangope: A Life in Quotes

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On Thursday, 18 January, Lucas Mangope died at his home in Lehurutshe in the North West province.

Mangope was a former leader of a non-contiguous Bantustan or homeland in apartheid South Africa, known as Bophuthatswana. He was also the founder and leader of the United Christian Democratic Party. Mangope was a controversial leader and leaves behind a country and democratic order he so vehemently fought against.

Below are some of his more memorable quotes:

“We are an independent nation and not a product of apartheid… We regained the independence which the British so treacherously took from us at the turn of the last century.” – Lucas Mangope

“If Botswana cannot change its foreign policy on Bophuthatswana and continues with its mud-slinging, then Bophuthatswana will have no option but to retaliate.” – Lucas Mangope

“That he can speak as a politician and a statesman about the programme for peace and reconciliation and seriously meaning what he says, while on the other hand a priest may speak in contempt and arrogance and shout out at the top of his voice a different programme. This programme may differ in words like ‘peace, love and reconciliation’ and be replaced by words like ‘violence, bloodshed and machine-guns’ because he does not hesitate to end up his message with the solemn pronouncement: In the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to the greater Glory of God and the Almighty. Amen.” – Lucas Mangope

“My Government is totally opposed to the idea of any forms of nationalisation. As it is often believed, a free enterprise system does not benefit only the elite or the rich. Free market forces also broaden and create the potential for the upliftment of the total population in all different spheres.” – Lucas Mangope

“Our sovereignty and freedom were unjustly and cruelly taken away from us by the British colonial government. We remoulded our people, who were scattered in groups and tribes over a wide area, and forged them again into a nation. We regained our dignity, our self-esteem, our sense of self-reliance and self-belief, acknowledging the wise and guiding hand of Almighty God.” – Lucas Mangope

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