oa Africa Insight - Constitutional Aspects of the Political Development of Bophuthatswana

Volume 6, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



This article deals with some constitutional aspects of the political development of one of the nascent states in Southern Africa. The South African policy of separate development is based on the development of different peoples, each in a specific territory, to autonomy and ultimate independence. The progress of a people or community through various phases of autonomy to independence and sovereignty reflects the constitutional aspects of political development. Historically there were various legislative measures to establish the territory of Bophuthatswana: the autonomy of the Tswana people became a prospect in the late fifties. Self-governing status, the highest level of autonomy provided for under present legislation, was enacted in the seventies. A clear distinction was made between legislative, executive and judicial functions. The Tswana are now constitutionally linked with Bophuthatswana by means of a statutory citizenship provision. Despite certain non-fundamental shortcomings in the legislation citizenship is already specifically attributed to Bophuthatswana only, whereas from the viewpoint of international law Tswana still retain their nationality of the RSA.The government of Bophuthatswana already has almost complete autonomy over internal affairs. Independence still remain the final step towards statehood to be taken by the Tswana of Bophuthatswana.

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