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Last modified: 2001-04-12 by jarig bakker
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[Qwaqwa] by Mark Sensen

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Qwaqwa - introduction

Within the "old" South Africa, 10 homelands were created, four of which were granted "independence" by South Africa (not recognised by any other country in the world). These former South African Homelands/bantustans ceased to exist on 27 April 1994. They have all (including the former so called independent Homelands) been reincorporated into South Africa.
The flags of the former Homelands are no longer in use (either officially or unofficially).
Bruce Berry, 25 April 1996

Very small territory, with no enclaves, in northeastern Orange Free State (today's Free State), bordering on Lesotho and Natal.
Antonio Martins, 30 May 1999

The name QwaQwa means "where we come from" and the homeland was given internal self-government on 1 November 1974.
Bruce Berry, 1 December 1998

You mentioned that the name means "where we come from". We believe you are mistaken. The name means "whiter than white". It refers to the white sandstone cliffs in the area. We know because we grew up there!
Eric Radebe and Danie Crowther, 15 Jan 2000

Qwaqwa does indeed mean "whiter than white". The area of 655 Km2 (253 sq mi) is situated in the Drakensberg mountains and used to be known as "Witsieshoek" (White corner - would be a to easy translations), after the farm that was originally situated there. When you look at the area from a distance you can see all these white rock formations sticking out (I believe it is sandstone), and there are many of them, each rock formation is a "wit", and plenty of them would be "witsies". Furthermore the area is situated in a corner between Freestate, KwaZulu - Natal and Lesotho (So the complete translation would sound something like the following : White boulders of various size sticking out of the surface in this corner of the country. Qwaqwa is therefore more than just whiter than white, it also refers to the multitude of these rock formations. The South Sotho people are also refered to as Basotho, and the capital of the homeland was called Phuthaditjhaba. The area is situated at heights of between 1600 M and over 3000 M. Originally there were 2 tribes of South Sotho people settled there (late 1870's), the Kwena and the Tlokwa tribes, although they lived separate the Kwena were allowed to rule the Tlokwa. In 1969 the area was combined into a single territory, and called KwaKwa (untill they realised that this spelling would make them part of a West African sub-group), later that year it was changed to Qwaqwa, and in 1974 they were granted self-government.
Franc M.A. Van Diest, 16 Jan 2000

QwaQwa flag description

The design of the QwaQwa flag is set out on section 2 of the QwaQwa Flag Act of 1975, which reads as follows:
"The flag of QwaQwa shall be a flag consisting of a field of green, thereon an orange fess stripe, there-between a Basotho pony rampant proper. The width of the QwaQwa flag shall be equal to two-thirds of its length".
The green symbolises the land, while the two couped orange stripes, coming from the hoist and fly respectively, represent the two original tribes from which the nation evolved and their traditional links with the Orange Free State. The Basotho pony refers to the sure-footed progress of the people on the often difficult path of progress. The Basotho pony is the natural means transport in this mountainous region.
QwaQwa was re-incorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994 and is now part of the Free State province. Since that date, the flag has not been in use.
Bruce Berry, 1 December 1998

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