Chiefly Power in a Frontline State: Kgosi Linchwe II, the Bakgatla and Botswana in the South African Liberation Struggle, 1948-1994

Chiefly Power in a Frontline State: Kgosi Linchwe II, the Bakgatla and Botswana in the South African Liberation Struggle, 1948-1994

Author: 
Cantwell, Louisa
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2015
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS)
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 41, No. 2, April 2015, pp. 255-272
Abstract: 

Kgosi Linchwe II of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela - a cross-border chieftainship in Botswana and South Africa - was at the centre of a network of trans-frontier links that played an important role in the liberation struggle in South Africa. In the context of the reluctant inaction of Botswana's national government, as a state surrounded by states under South African influence and economically dependent upon them, this case demonstrates a hitherto hidden aspect of the activities of the liberation movements in the region. The case of Linchwe II demonstrates the ways in which the authority, influence and connections that underpinned his chiefly power made it possible to assist the liberation movements in ways that the state government was unable to do because of concerns for national security. This study reveals a hidden history of involvement in the struggle that has been obscured by the historiographical focus on the international politics of Botswana, using a deep, micro-historical focus on a region that was highly involved in, connected with and affected by the South African liberation struggle.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Cantwell, Louisa. Chiefly Power in a Frontline State: Kgosi Linchwe II, the Bakgatla and Botswana in the South African Liberation Struggle, 1948-1994 . : Taylor & Francis Group , 2015. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 41, No. 2, April 2015, pp. 255-272 - Available at: http://library.au.int/chiefly-power-frontline-state-kgosi-linchwe-ii-bakgatla-and-botswana-south-african-liberation