|Former name (until 1980): Mafeking a town in N South Africa: besieged by the Boers for 217 days (1899--1900) during the second Boer War: administrative headquarters of the British protectorate of Bechuanaland until 1965, although outside its borders. Pop: 23 650 (2001)|
town, capital of North-West province, South Africa. It was previously part of the not internationally recognized republic of Bophuthatswana, in one of that country's separated land units. It lies close to the Botswana border, about 150 miles (240 km) west of Johannesburg. Before 1980 Mafikeng was administratively within Cape Province, South Africa.
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