Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope (born 27 December 1923) is the former leader of the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana and founder and former leader of the United Christian Democratic Party, a minor political party based in the North West province of South Africa.
Born in Motswedi, Mangope worked as a high school teacher until 8 August 1959, when he succeeded his father Lucas as Chief of the Motswedi Ba hurutshe-Boo-Manyane tribe. On 1 May 1971, Mangope became Chief Minister of the Bophuthatswana Legislative Assembly and retained his post following the first Bophuthatswana elections on 4 October 1972. Initially leader of the Bophuthatswana National Party, Mangope left the party following what was officially referred to as 'internal strife' and formed the Bophuthatswana Democratic Party, which then became the governing party. He became President in 1977. In 1988 he was briefly overthrown by members of a military police unit, and was reinstated following intervention by the South African Defence Force. South Africa's government stated that it was responding to a request for assistance from the legal government of a sovereign nation.
Sasha Polakow-Suransky has written that Mangope was "widely considered a puppet and a joke in South Africa" during his presidency. Mangope was nevertheless given some recognition during visits to Israel, meeting with prominent figures such as Moshe Dayan. (Bophuthatswana had an unofficial "embassy" in Israel in the 1980s despite objections from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which did not recognize the bantustan as a state.)
Mangope was accused of using his Defence Force and Police to suppress protests, and had been accused of police brutality when a student protest was suppressed by his police force. Mangope's supporters, however, have argued that Bophuthatswana was comparatively more successful than other Bantustans in social and economic development, owing to its mineral wealth. Although designated as an ethnic Tswana homeland, Bophuthatswana was more or less an integrated society where Apartheid legislation did not apply, in common with other homelands.
At the Kempton Park negotiations in 1993 that led to the first non-racial elections in South Africa in 1994, Mangope had made clear that Bophuthatswana would remain independent of the new and integrated South Africa and that he would not allow the upcoming elections to take place in "his country". With most residents in favour of reintegration, the defence force mutinied. Mangope called on outside help, but was eventually forced to flee the homeland, and shortly thereafter, the homelands were reincorporated into South Africa.
After the transition to multiracial democracy, Mangope remained active in politics. His party became the United Christian Democratic Party. As of the 2014 national and provincial elections it held no seats in the provincial parliament or a provincial legislature.