Lebowa was a Homeland in northeastern South Africa. It consisted of eight areas. Lebowa was intended for the Pedi. The capital was only Seshego, then Lebowakgomo.

The word comes from the Lebowa Northern Sotho and means north.


Bophuthatswana consisted of two large and six small, non-contiguous areas that lay to the northeast of the former Transvaal province. The total area was 21,833 km ². 1992 2,924,584 people lived there.

  • The largest area lay to the south of the former Pietersburg. There was the newly built capital Lebowakgomo. In the area of ​​the Olifants River and the Strydpoortberge and the northern foothills of the Drakensberg lie. The area bordered on the south by KwaNdebele, on the northeast by Gazankulu.
  • The second major area was north-west of it. Besides Seshego in Pietersburg the former Township Mahwelereng there was close to the former Potgietersrus. The highest mountain of the region is the Blouberg 2,051 meters above sea level, the. The remaining part of the country was high around 1,000 to 1,500 meters. The area bordered on no other homelands.
  • A small area was west of Soekmekaar. The sand flowed through the area.
  • East of Soutmekaar was a fourth region, which bordered on the north by Venda and on the east by Gazankulu.
  • East of it was an area in which the city was Gakgapane and bordered to the north, east and south by Gazankulu.
  • Southeast of it there was a small area of ​​the city Namakgale that bordered on the north by Gazankulu. Nearby lay Phalaborwa, the gateway to the Kruger National Park.
  • To the south and east of the former territory was an area with the village Shatale that bordered on the east by Gazankulu.
  • Immediately south of it lay another area. The northern part touched the southern part at one point.


Lebowa was founded in August 1969. Mokgama Maurice Matlala, who belonged to the Bophuthatswana National Party, was the first President of the Council. On October 2, 1972 the Homeland extensive autonomy was granted. Matlala was Chief Minister ( German as: " Chief Minister "). Capital was Seshego until Lebowakgomo was completed in the 1980s as the new capital. On 8 May 1973, Cedric Namedi Phatudi of the Lebowa People's Party ( LPP) Chief Minister and remained there until his death on October 7, 1987. Successor was for three weeks ZT Seleki ( LPP), which in turn of Mogoboya Nelson Ramodike ( LPP) was replaced. Ramodike wore from 1989, the official title of prime minister.

On 27 April 1994 Lebowa was pooled together with the nine other homelands again with South Africa. Today is part of the Lebowa Limpopo provinces and - the two areas listed above last - Mpumalanga.


In Lebowa around 1.8 million Northern Sotho -speaking member of the ethnic group lived Pedi (also: Northern Sotho ). Outside the homelands lived in 1989 further 1.1 million Pedi. In Lebowa lived numerous Ndebele, Batswana and Shangana Tsonga.


In the two large areas of asbestos, nickel, gems and some gold were mined. In addition, tropical fruits were grown. A large part of the revenue was generated outside Lebowas by migrant workers.