In 1948, an international incident was created when the British government took exception to the “difficult problem” of the marriage of Seretse Khama, kgosi (king) of the Bamangwato people of what was then the British Bechuanaland Protectorate [now Botswana], to an English woman, Ruth Williams, whom he had met while studying law in London. The interracial marriage sparked a furore among both the tribal elders of the Bamangwato and the apartheid government of South Africa. The latter objected to the idea of an interracial couple ruling just across their northern border, and exerted pressure to have Khama removed from his chieftainship. Britain’s Labour government, then heavily in debt from World War II, could not afford to lose cheap South African gold and uranium supplies. They also feared South Africa might take direct action against Bechuanaland, through economic sanctions or a military incursion.The British government began a parliamentary enquiry into Khama’s fitness for the chieftainship. Though the investigation reported that he was eminently fit for the rule of Bechuanaland, “but for his unfortunate marriage”, the government ordered the report suppressed. (It would remain so for thirty years.) It exiled Khama and his wife from Bechuanaland in 1951. It was many years before the couple was allowed to live in Africa, and several more years before Khama became president of what is now Botswana. Their son Ian Khama is the president of that country.