#TBT Today in African History – Daliwonga Kaizer Mantazima (1915 -2003)

Today in 1979, Daliwonga Kaizer Mantazima, a nephew of Tata Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, became State President of the Transkei.

Transkei, now part of the Eastern Cape province as a self-governing state.  Although it had no internationally recognition, it became the first state that was independent from South Africa. Mantazima tried to develop Transkei as a sovereign country, later cutting ties with South Africa, a country that was then under the apartheid regime. Unfortunately Transkei’s dependence on South Africa’s aid and military resources crippled its opportunity to turn the independent name into a country which proved economic stability – its ties cut with South Africa was extremely short-lived – as only Israel and Taiwan recognised the Transkei as a country.

Mantazima’s leadership skills carried two polarizing sides depending on who you speak to. Some believe that he ruled with an iron fist, looking at how he aimed at creating Transkei an independent state. others deemed him a ruthless leader, citing his agreement to the notorious Bantu Authorities Act. a statute which deepened negative tribalism through setting geographical areas for specific ethnic groups.

Mantazima later passed in June of 2003, and was buried in Qamata , South Africa.