South Africa: Stopping a Coup in Bop

Stopping a Coup in Bop

Since raising its flag in 1977, Bophuthatswana (pop. 1.7 million) has always been considered the most viable of the four "independent" black homelands | set up by South Africa. Bop, as the homeland is sensibly known, derives substantial revenues from platinum mining and the gambling resort of Sun City. But Bop -- and Pretoria's oft-denounced homeland policy in general -- suffered an embarrassing setback last week, when a coup briefly toppled the government.

The drama began as rebellious soldiers seized President Lucas Mangope, 60, from his bed and took him, still in his shorty pajamas, to a soccer stadium. Claiming the...

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