The embattled Bakgatla leader Kgosi Kgafela II has applied for South African citizenship and intends to rule Bakgatla in South Africa and Botswana from Moruleng. Kgafela made the citizenship application with the South African Home Affairs department on 21st May immediately after arriving in Moruleng on a self-imposed exile.
In his affidavit to the South African National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in which he lodged a complaint against senior Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela leaders, including some employees, Kgafela states that he has since applied for the citizenship of South Africa and has relocated his whole family to Moruleng South Africa to take over as the King of Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela in Moruleng.
The affidavit was deposed on October 5, 2012. He says: “I wish to obtain citizenship of South Africa for various reasons. The first and foremost reason is that my ancestors originate in South Africa in the Pilanesburg region.” Kgafela is only waiting for the outcome of his application from the Home Affairs department. He said the spirits of his ancestors demands that he returns home.
“The same spirits of my forefathers desire that I should rule the tribe from Moruleng in order to bring to closure, once and for all, the troubles that have denied the tribe peace in South Africa for many years,” says Kgafela in an affidavit bearing his signature.
He said his mission is to bring peace and prosperity in the tribe, adding that it was impossible to achieve this mission while living in Botswana. “It is absolutely essential that I work on this mission from a close range where events are taking place.” Kgafela said there was no doubt that he was the legitimate ruler of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in South Africa.
“I am recognised as Kgosi Kgolo by the laws of South Africa. The status of Bakgatla Kgosi Kgolo in South Africa was endorsed by the High Court in Mafikeng in a case where the late Kgosi Tidimane Pilane challenged the authority of my father in 1993-1994,” he adds in a lengthy affidavit. He cited additional judgments of the courts of South Africa, which have reinforced the legal position established in the latter case in which Kgosi Tidimane challenged his father’s authority.
“Thus my authority over the tribe in South Africa and all its property is established by case law that reaffirms the position of customary law.” He says that as a result he has legal authority over the entire Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in South Africa.
“I am responsible for their economic, political and social welfare and generally for the destiny of the future generation of Bakgatla.
This responsibility is a primary duty of a Kgosi in terms of legislation derived from customary law and practices. I am the custodian of all the property of the tribe, be it money, immoveable property and incorporeal rights.” However, Kgafela’s stay in South Africa has divided the tribe with some threatening to kill him. In the affidavit Kgafela makes no mention of his pending case in which he and other tribesmen are accused of unlawfully flogging his subjects.
His rivals in South Africa have been telling the people that as a fugitive of the law in Botswana, Kgafela has no legal basis to rule over the tribe in South Africa.His affidavit gives an insight into his life in Moruleng. He says that he resides at Dithabeng House, George Stagman Hospital in Moruleng, and that his three children are living with him and attending school in Phokeng.
Kgafela has lodged a criminal complaint against his uncle and now number one foe, Kgosi Nyalala Pilane, BBKTA employee Lorraine Masipa, BBKTA CEO Meshack Molope and BBKTA legal representative Wycliffe Thipe Mothuloe. Kgafela is accusing them of theft, fraud, forgery and other related crimes concerning dishonesty and criminal breach of fiduciary duties. The South African specialized crime unit, the Hawks, has confirmed investigating the matter.