The Republic of Bophuthatswana (meaning "gathering of the Tswana people") was a bantustan ("homeland") and nominal parliamentary democracy in the northwestern region of South Africa. Its seat of government was Mmabatho.
The area, which consisted of six enclaves, was set up as the only homeland for Tswana-speaking people in 1961. It was given nominal self-rule in 1971, and elections were held the following year. Following the 1977 elections, Lucas Mangope became president after his Bophuthatswana Democratic Party won a majority of seats. The territory became nominally independent on 6 December 1977. In 1983 it had more than 1,430,000 inhabitants; in 1990, it had an estimated population of 2,352,296.
Historically, Bophuthatswana's significance is twofold: it was the first area to be declared an independent state whose territory constituted a scattered patchwork of individual enclaves, and during its last days of existence, events taking place within its borders led to the weakening and split of right-winged Afrikaner resistance towards democratizing South Africa.
In 1994, it was reintegrated into South Africa, and its territory was distributed among the new provinces of the Orange Free State, Northern Cape, and North West Province.