Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Ten things about Mangaung

 

  1. Mangaung is the capital of the Free State province. What is now the province was an independent Boer republic, the Orange Free State, from 1854 to 1902.
  2. The name means “Place of Leopards” or “Place of Cheetahs” in Sesotho.
  3. Bloemfontein is the home of the Cheetahs rugby team.
  4. The African National Congress was founded (as the South African Native National African Congress) in Bloemfontein in 1912.
  5. The National Party, which governed South Africa from 1948 to 1994, was founded in Bloemfontein in 1915 by Afrikaners disaffected with the governing South African Party of General Louis Botha.
  6. The ANC will hold its elective conference there from December 16.
  7. The ANC also held its 44th national congress there in 1955. ANC president Dr AB Xuma delivered a stern lecture warning of the dangers of “certain tendencies” in the party, including “splits, cracks, antagonisms and struggle for office for personal reasons”. The ANC, he said, “seems to fear … criticisms constructive and otherwise from its following and others. People who voice their reasonable and considered views on Congress policy and/or no policy … are referred to as ‘sellers-out’ or ‘agents’ or ‘friends of the government’ instead of being shown where they are wrong … Many who dare to criticise the hierarchy have been expelled …”
  8. Bloemfontein was officially founded by a British soldier, Major Henry Douglas Warden, in 1846, in the form of a fort that would serve as an outpost of the Cape Colony. It retained the name of the farm Warden had bought from its Afrikaner owner. A bronze bust of Warden graces the Bloemfontein-Mangaung History Hall at the National Museum there.
  9. In 1899, Bloemfontein was the site of a meeting between British imperial forces and representatives of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR; also known as the Transvaal Republic), in an attempt to forestall the outbreak of war between Britain and the Boers. It failed. British High Commissioner Lord Alfred Milner demanded of the republic’s President Paul Kruger that uitlanders (white foreigners) in the territory be given the vote at once, meetings of the Volksraad or parliament be conducted in English as well as Dutch and all its laws be confirmed by the British Parliament. Kruger refused on the grounds that this was an unacceptable breach of the republic’s sovereignty and Milner walked out. War was declared on October 11 1899.
  10. True to its Dutch name, Bloemfontein (“flower fountain”) hosts the annual Rose Festival.

 

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

R500-million Covid-19 Gauteng hospital contract was irregularly awarded — SIU

The bank accounts of Pro Service Consulting and Thenga Holdings have been frozen

More top stories

Nersa approves Karpowership generation licences

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has questioned why Nersa has not immediately provided its reasons for issuing the controversial generation licences

With its industrial base decimated, SA’s economy needs real change...

Speaking at a book launch on Tuesday, the finance minister said a focus on manufacturing is critical to stem the country’s deepening unemployment crisis

Defence team cagey about Zuma’s health after state advised he...

The former president was absent from court, but his counsel argued that health matters be left aside, so as to hear his case for the removal of Billy Downer

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×