Added: February 22, 2014 – Last updated: April 8, 2017


Author: Maitseo M.M. Bolaane

Title: Cross-Border Lives, Warfare and Rape in Independence-Era Botswana

Subtitle: -

Journal: Journal of Southern African Studies

Volume: 39

Issue: 3

Year: September 2013 (Published online: September 2, 2013)

Pages: 557-576

ISSN: 0305-7070 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1465-3893 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Botswana History, South African History | Cases: Offenders / Ivan Godfrey Bernado, Peter George Faught, Petrus Andries Liebenberg, Brian Kenneth van Zyl; Cases: Victims / Miriam, Sana; Offenders: Soldiers; Types: Attempted Rape, Gang Rape, Interracial Rape



EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)


Author: Maitseo M.M. Bolaane, History Department, University of BotswanaResearchGate

Abstract: »During the 1970s, the violence in neighbouring states spilled over into Botswana, making untenable its previous policy of having no army. This article examines the experiences of women in the north-east border regions who suffered violence from South African and Rhodesian soldiers crossing illegally and yet routinely into Botswana. As these incidents show, rape as a weapon of war has a long history in the region, although world attention is more recent. I suggest that a key underlying factor in the cross-border violence was the difficult and incomplete transition from permeable boundaries within a wider colonial space to hard international borders between fully independent and hostile states. As a result, the role of Botswana in the liberation struggle of southern Africa served as the main reason for the regular violations of its sovereignty during that period. The lives of ordinary people straddled the border, and so did the violence of armies, making it crucial to consider the reactions of the people of Botswana to cross-border warfare. I will also use comparisons with other notable contemporary incidents of cross-border violence and cross-border ambiguity, including one incident that took place, paradoxically, in the middle of the country, involving travel on the Rhodesian-owned railway.« (Source: Journal of Southern African Studies)


  Introduction (p. 557)
  Women's Hidden Histories: A Review (p. 559)
  'Trouble at the Borders': Cross-Border Incidents in the Late 1970s (p. 560)
  Cross-Border Incidents and State Responses (p. 563)
    The Beyleveld Case (p. 563)
    Khama's 1977 Christmas Speech (p. 565)
    The Northern Tuli Game Reserve Incident (p. 566)
  The Shashe/Limpopo Borderland and the Tuli Block (p. 567)
  October 1977: The Rape at Tuli Block (p. 569)
  Race, Gender and Cross-Border Warfare (p. 573)
  Conclusion (p. 575)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Botswana, History of South Aftrica | Sex and the law: Gang rape