Former Bophuthatswana homeland leader Lucas Mangope will be given a dignified funeral, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo said on Friday.
“The Office Of the Premier has officially received a message from the family and will work with the family to ensure that Kgosi Mangope is given a dignified funeral,” Mahumapelo said.
“When I became premier in 2014, Kgosi Mangope was one of the people I visited to tap on his wisdom,” Mahumapelo said.
He was expected to visit the family on Sunday to offer condolences.
Mangope, 94, died on Thursday at his home in Motswedi near Zeerust.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) said although Mangope was an outspoken opponent of the democratisation project in South Africa, as led by the ANC, the party 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.
“Mr Mangope was among the African personalities that emerged in the 1970s as leaders of the Bantustan territories created by the apartheid regime as part of its strategy to consolidate, in the name of self-governance, tribal homelands that sustained the apartheid social engineering of ethnic division,” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.
“The African National Congress extends condolences to the Mangope family, their friends and all people who held Mr Mangope in close regard.”
Mangope was the founder of the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), but in 2011 he was fired from the party for allegedly making unilateral decisions and expelling senior party members. He challenged his expulsion in courts, but the court only restored his party membership and not his leadership.
He defected to the DA, along with many other UCDP members in 2014.
– African News Agency (ANA)