Country of the World South Africa The Transkei

About the Transkei in the country South Africa, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.





Lay of the Land: The independent homeland of the Transkei (an unrecognized nation) is sandwiched between the two South African provinces of Natal and the Cape. Most of the country is mountainous and difficult to farm. Unlike the other so-called homeland areas of South Africa, nearly all the land that makes up the Transkei is contiguous with the exception of two small islands of land in Natal and Cape Provinces.

Size: Approximately 17,000 sq. mi. (44,030 sq. km.).

Population: Over 2 million. Another 1.5 million people of Xhosa extraction living in the Republic of South Africa have been forced to become Transkei citizens.

Who Rules: The Transkei became independent on Oct. 26, 1976, without a single nation--save South Africa--acknowledging its existence, despite efforts by South Africa to rally support. The Transkei Independence party together with appointed chiefs makes up the majority of the Transkei Assembly, which legislates the territory's laws.

Who REALLY Rules: In April, 1978, the Transkei broke diplomatic relations with South Africa. However South Africa controls the purse strings to the Transkei's budget and economy and has insisted that all Xhosa-speaking people and people connected with Xhosa culture become Transkei citizens. The first law passed by the 1977 Transkei Assembly provided the death penalty for anyone convicted of criticizing a state official.

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