Seretse Khama

Sir Seretse Khama (* 1. July 1921 in Serowe; † 13. July 1980 in Gaborone) was from 1966 to 1980 a first president of Botswana.

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Seretse Khama belonged to the trunk of the Bamangwato in the British protectorate at that time Betschuanaland. He was the grandchild of the master king Khama III.and son of chieftain Sekgoma. Its father had spent 17 years in the exile, inherited after its death 1925 Seretse Khamathose. Due to his young age its uncle Tshekedi Khama was used as regent, who took over also its education. He spent its childhood predominantly in boardings school in South Africa, thus in tiger Kloof (Natal) and in Lovedale (east cape).

Afterwards it visitedthe university away sheds in Alice (likewise east cape). While its study time in Johannesburg it became 1944 asked to take over the guidance of its people however its study decided to continue. It made its Bachelor OF kind and visited since August 1945 the Balliol college for that University of Oxford. He gained practical experiences as Barrister at internal the Temple of the Royal Courts OF Justice in London.

wedding and exile

in June 1947 he became acquainted with the Englishwoman Ruth Williams, which worked at Lloyd's OF London. After one yearmarried the two that released irritation at two groups some: the masteroldest the Bamangwato did not wish themselves white one at the king yard and the new South African government under Daniel François Malan began straight to convert their politics of the apartheid and stressed say in affairs of the neighbouringBritish protectorates. Its uncle Tshekedi Khama required his immediate return after Betschuanaland and the cancellation of the marriage. After its return Seretse was confirmed of the oldest ones as Kgosi (chieftain). Since his wife became popular in the people finally, its uncle did without his demands and leftthe country. Seretse turned to London back around its study to continue.

In March 1950 the British government switched itself on into the case. After a date with the Minister for affairs of the Commonwealth Seretse Khama communicated the suggestion of the government in a press conference: Renouncementon the office for chieftain against an annual taxfree compensation of 1.100 £ (at that time scarcely 23,000 DM) and its whereabouts in England. Since he could not make friends himself hereby, he was banished from Betschuanaland, whereby substantial pressure was assumed on the part of the South African government.

It refused

determining return the Bamangwato one while a successor why the British use the Rasebolai Kgamane next platzierten in the succession to the throne. To the renouncement of its requirements Seretse Khama was allowed to return 1956 with its wife and its children. In affairs of the trunk supportedit Kgamane and lived otherwise inconspicuously and withdrawn as a cattle breeder.

After a constitutional reform 1960, those the African 12 of the 35 seats in the Legislativrat, became Seretse Khama of delegates. In January 1962 it created the Bechuanaland Democratic party (BDP) clearly, the 1965 the elections with 28the 31 seats for itself to decide, and became prime minister could. The party was renamed after independence in Botswana Democratic party. Beginning of the 1960er years gave it in the press of rumors, it the discussion with Sir Roy Welensky looked for, around its country to those To attach Central African federation. The project was however not continued to pursue.


as Betschuanaland to 30. September 1966 under the name Botswana became independent took over he the office of the president. As a president he understood it, its country a good economic development, an effectiveTo secure fight of the corruption and democratic conditions. The wealth at raw materials permitted it extensive investments in infrastructure and training system.

In the foreign policy it could to a large extent out hold its country from the conflicts in South Africa , Rhodesien and Namibia and itself the more symbolic affiliationlimit to the “front states”.

Seretse Khama suffered cancer suffering from diabetes and remained up to its death due to in the year 1980 president of Botswana.


  • Ronald Segal, African profiles. Prestel 1963
  • Fischer world yearbook - biographies to contemporary history since 1945, FischerPaperback publishing house 1985, ISBN of 3596245532

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