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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Limitations of British territorial control in Bechuanaland Protectorate, 1918-1953
Author:Makgala, Christian JohnISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 0305-7070)
Volume:36
Issue:1
Pages:57-71
Language:English
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:indirect rule
Kwena
1930-1939
1940-1949
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057071003607329
Abstract:This article argues that the Kalahari desert region of the Kwena tribal reserve quietly slipped out of the imperial command from 1930-1950, at a time when British colonial authorities achieved territorial control of the tribal areas of Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana) through the chiefs. The British had reluctantly colonized Bechuanaland and initially left the chiefs to their own devices. However, with a new generation of chiefs in office in the 1920s, numerous 'ugly' developments in the tribal areas, and lack of regulation of chiefly powers, forced the colonial government to tighten control. By the mid-1940s this appeared to have been achieved in most parts of the country. But the lack of resources and logistical difficulties, combined with weak tribal leadership at the Kwena tribal headquarters made the Kalahari desert impossible to police. Hence, it became a safe haven for alleged criminal elements, such as tax evaders and game poachers for example. The remote and isolated village of Tsetseng proved to be a particular problem for the colonial authorities and this 'lawless' area was only brought back into effective imperial control in 1953 after a difficult campaign. The article also argues that consultation and Tswana succession through primogeniture made indirect rule in Bechuanaland operate differently from other parts of British Africa. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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