Khama, Sir Seretse


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Khama, Sir Seretse

(sĕrĕt`sā kä`mä), 1921–80, Botswanan political leader, president of Botswana (1966–80); grandson of Khama IIIKhama III
, d. 1923?, chief of the Ngwato people of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) from 1875 until his death; grandfather of Sir Seretse Khama. To counter threats from neighboring Africans and from the Boers (Afrikaners) of S Africa, he and other chiefs arranged (1885) for Great
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. After studying in England he returned to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) but was banished (1950) in a dispute with the British government over his succession to the chieftaincy of the Ngwato people. He renounced (1956) his claim, returned, and launched the Bechuanaland Democratic party. He served (1965–66) as prime minister; when Bechuanaland became independent as Botswana, he assumed the presidency. He served four terms and died in office in 1980. He was knighted in 1966.
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