Last modified: 2002-07-20 by jarig bakker
Keywords: south africa | griqualand |
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Goshen was centred around Mafikeng, which Sir Charles Warren (commander of the Bechuanaland Expeditionary Force) laid out as the town of Mafeking, which served as capital for both British Bechuanaland and the Bechuanaland Protectorate. It remained the capital of the Protectorate until shortly before Botswana's independence, when the administration was transferred first to Francistown, and then to the new town of Gaborone. Mafeking remained part of the Cape Province during Bophuthatswana's "independence", even though it adjoined Transvaal territory and was cut off from the rest of the Cape. The new town of Mmabatho was built alongside Mafeking to serve as Bophuthatswana's capital. After the 1994 elections the two towns were merged under the name Mafikeng (the correct Setswana spelling).
When Warren's forces arrived at the end of the railway line (which in
1885 was Orange River Station; the bridge over the Orange River had not
yet been built), a party of Boers with wagons arrived and offered their
services as transport. They accompanied the force all the way up to Mafikeng,
where Warren was surprised to find not a single Boer ready to defend Goshen.
The transport drivers received their pay and returned to the Zuid Afrikaansche
Republiek, where they spent their earnings on purchasing farms. Warren
never realised that the transport drivers were all Goshenites!
Mike Oettle, 14 Dec 2001