Bophuthatswana was an “independent” homeland within South Africa, meaning "gathering of the Tswana people", and was officially called the Republic of Bophuthatswana. This was an area set aside by the Apartheids Government of South Africa for members of a specific ethnic group. The independence of these Homelands, including that of the Ciskei, Transkei kwaZulu and Venda was not recognized by any country other than South Africa. Bophuthatswana was the second to be declared an independent state on 6 December 1977, after Transkei. The territory of a total of 44,109 km² constituted a patchwork of small areas spread across what was then the Cape Province, Orange Free State and Transvaal. Its seat of government was Mmabatho, which today is a suburb of Mahikeng (previously also known as Mafikeng). With the first free elections in South Africa on 27 April 1994, it was reintegrated into South. Its territory was distributed between the new provinces of the Free State, Gauteng and North West Province. During its existence, the South African Rand was the legal currency, and only two coins were issued to commemorate the Independence, the Nkwe (translated as leopard) in gold, and the Lowe (lion) in platinum.
See also: South Africa
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