The North West University should be named after former Bophuthatswana leader Lucas Manyane Mangope, the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) said on Friday.
“We have Walter Sisulu University and Nelson Mandela, why can’t we have North West University renamed Manyane Mangope University. Tautona believed in education. He will solely be missed, and we will remember him through his legacy,” said F4SD leader Mbahare Kekana.
Mangope died on Thursday at his home in Motswedi near Zeerust. He was 94.
“The passing of Dr Lucas Manyane Mangope yesterday [Thursday] marked the end and beginning of the legacy of him. We, as F4SD, adore this fallen hard-as-a-stick leader who under his leadership there was little problems of service delivery or service delivery protest.
“Dr Manyane ensured that there were functioning and effective teachers, nursing, agricultural, drama and arts institutions, which were unceremoniously destroyed by the current regime of ANC.”
He said the F4SD admits that despite Mangope’s leadership, which in some instances offended others, his achievements cannot be shredded overnight.
In 2010, the North West University (NWU) suspended its plan to name the Lost City residence at its Mafikeng campus after Mangope, until approved policy, processes and procedures on the naming of parts of the university were available.
Congress of SA Trade Unions, SA Communist Party and the SA Students Congress in North West strongly opposed the renaming.
Meanwhile, the Congress of the People (Cope) said it was saddened at the news his passing.
“We take this opportunity to convey our sympathies to the extended Mangope family, organisational associates and the community at large,” party president Mosiuoa Lekota said.
The North West Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs MEC Ontlametse Mochware said she was deeply saddened and shocked by the passing of Mangope.
“We wake up with heavy hearts after receiving the sad news of the passing of Kgosi Manyane Mangope. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the Mangope family, relatives, friends and the Bahurutshe who have lost an upright leader, a teacher, a great disciplinarian, an astute orator and a politician,” she said.
Mangope was the traditional leader of the Bahurutshe-Boo Manayane in Motswedi until he relinquished his duties as Kgosi of his clan, and was succeeded by his son, Kwena Mangope.
Mangope became president of Bophuthatswana in 1977, one of the many independent black homelands that only apartheid South Africa recognised. He had been accused of using police brutality to suppress protest.
In 1988, he was reinstated by the apartheid government following a failed coup, led by Rocky Malebana-Metsing, leader of the People Progressive Party.
In 1993, in the build up to the first nonracial elections in South Africa in 1994, Mangope made it clear that Bophuthatswana would remain independent of the new and integrated South Africa and that he would not allow the upcoming elections to take place in “his country”.
Mangope was removed from office by South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha and Transitional Executive Council (TEC) member Mac Maharaj in March 1994.
His statue at the Ga-Rona government complex was removed soon after the new administration under Popo Molefe took over.
– African News Agency (ANA)