Bechuanaland: Walking the Tightrope

By camel and dugout canoe, through bleak lion country and rich tobacco fields, the electorate of Bechuanaland proceeded to the polls. Some were red-faced Afrikaner farmers in sports shirts and veldskoen; others were naked Kalahari bushmen, whose ways have not changed since they learned to paint on rocks 15,000 years ago. At the polling place—in some cases a tidy brick schoolhouse, in others a thatch-roofed hut beneath a twisted mopane tree—each voter received a handful of col ored, coin-size counters representing the candidates of five political parties. Cynics called it "the...

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