Ntwa Ya Hitler (3) - Passage To Egypt

We left off in the middle of 1941 with dikgosi throughout the Bechuanaland Protectorate calling up their mephato or age regiments for enlistment in the African Pioneer Corps (APC).

Batswana ultimately accounted for just over 10,000 men out of the 25,000 who served in the APC, which also included troops drawn from Lesotho and Swaziland.

Officially, the APC was an all-volunteer force. But, for most people the word of the kgosi was law, although a few politicised migrants back from Gauteng refused. Others avoided service by either hiding or migrating to South Africa, where their labour was in heavy demand in the burgeoning wartime industries. In a few areas such dodgers became known as “Maseapitse”, as in those who ran from the horses of the dikgosi.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day holds immense significance for Batswana as a whole. It offers a moment for reflection and celebration of the country's achievements, while also prompting introspection.We must honestly assess whether the number of years of independence aligns with the progress we have made. While there is certainly much to celebrate, there are also pressing issues that require the attention of relevant stakeholders. Many Batswana are facing...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up