HL Deb 05 December 1989 vol 513 cc844-5WA
Lord Gisborough

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they are not prepared to recognise the independence of Bophuthatswana, and what changes in that country they would need to see before granting recognition.

Lord Brabazon of Tara

No country in the world except South Africa recognises the independence of Bophuthatswana. Bophuthatswana does not meet the criteria for recognition as an independent state that have been followed by successive British governments. The criteria are based on international law, and are that a state should have and seem likely to continue to have:

  1. (i) a clearly defined territory with a population;
  2. (ii) a government who are able of themselves to exercise effective control of that territory; and
  3. (iii) independence in their external relations.

There are also exceptional cases when other factors, including relevant United Nations resolutions, may be taken into account. These considerations apply to the question of recognition of Bophuthatswana.