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Mafeking

Mafeking is the capital of the North West administrative province (previously Bechuanaland), South Africa. Under Apartheid the town was named Mmabatho, the capital of the Bophuthatswana "homeland". In 1994 the name was been returned to Mafeking. 870 m. N.E. of Cape Town and 492 m. S.S.W. of Bulawayo[?] by rail, and 162 m. in a direct line W. by N. of Johannesburg. Population (1904) 2713, (1996) 44,200, (2001) 49,300. It is built on the open veldt, at an elevation of 4194 ft., by the banks of the Upper Molopo[?], is 9 m. W. of the western frontier of the Transvaal and 15 m. S. of the southern boundary of Bechuanaland. The Madibi goldfields[?] are some 10 m. south of the town.

Mafeking was originally the headquarters of the Barolong[?] tribe of Bechuana[?]. The town was founded in the 1880s by British mercenaries who were granted land by a Barolong chief. The settlement was named Mafikeng, a local Tswana word meaning "place of stones". Later British settlers spelt the name as Mafeking. It was from Pitsani Pothlugo (or Potlogo), 24 m. north of Mafeking, that Dr Jameson[?] started, on December 29, 1895, on his raid into the Transvaal. On the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899 Mafeking was invested by a Boer force. the siege and relief of the town had excited the liveliest sympathy in England, and there were exuberant rejoicings, called mafficking, in London on the news of its relief. In September 1904 Lord Roberts unveiled at Mafeking an obelisk bearing the names of those who fell in defence of the town.

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