Kgafela stops mining of platinum in Moruleng

Ernest Moloi BG reporter
Thursday, 28 September 2017

-Goes after stolen billions

-BaKgatla land held in Title Deeds

-Says Nyalala will spend rest of his life in prison

-Bakgatla entitled to share certificates as shareholders in platinum mines

BaKgatla Ba Kgafela Sovereign, Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela Kgafela II has issued a chilling warning to ‘thieves’ that have plundered his tribe of close to R50 billion that they will be prosecuted and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

Kgafela was speaking on Sunday at Kgabutle in Moruleng, South Africa where he is based to multitudes of BaKgatla from Botswana and South Africa that had thronged the Kgotla to celebrate BaKgatla Ba Kgafela Heritage Day.

No doubt the warning was directed at Senior Traditional Leader of BaKgatla Ba Kgafela in Moruleng, Nyalala Pilane and his friends, especially the mining companies in the rich Platinum Belt of the North-West Province.

For a long time these companies have been giving royalties to the Moruleng tribal leadership for their mining activities in the tribe’s land as well as entering into joint ventures with the traditional leadership or facilitating acquisition of shareholding in the platinum mines.  

Kgafela used the celebration to address his Morafe on progress in his battle to reclaim the tribe’s land and wealth from these ‘looters.’ 

He reported that since arriving in Moruleng in 2012 and launching charges of corruption, fraud and misuse of tribal funds against Nyalala Pilane and his friends, the High Court in Pretoria has granted Morafe judgement closing the accounts.

Not only that. The courts have also interdicted the mining companies from mining the “high grade” platinum in BaKgatla territory without the express consent and permission of the Morafe.

Four other cases were taken to Mafikeng High Court where they were referred to the Maluleke Judicial Commission that is investigating the BaKgatla Ba Kgafela chieftaincy dispute. 

The Commission is currently seized with the matters, but according to Kgafela, it has determined, although judgement is awaited, that indeed the tribe’s assets and wealth have been misused and pillaged. 

Kgafela was not yet done. 

He told BaKgatla that they are the wealthiest tribe in the whole of South Africa, but that sadly they don’t know this. He told them of the vast tracts of land that was bought for Morafe by his progenitor, Kgosi Kgamanayane Pilane, who fled Moruleng in 1870 to Mochudi in Botswana.

These lands or farms, as he called them, are held in Title Deeds and belong to BaKgatla and no one else. He said although they knew of the title deeds, they had not seen some, but that the Commission gave them an opportunity to see them.

An elder and Historian of the BaKgatla tribe Rre Modibedi Rantshabele had the previous day recounted Kgamanyane’s journey as he fled from Paul Kruger’s abuse (it’s said Kruger whipped Kgosi Kgamanyane 31 times for refusing to release labourers to work for him free of charge).

He said it was Kgamanyane who had purchased the land called Moruleng for BaKgatla. Kgosi Kgamanyane died in 1875 and was succeeded by Kgosi Linchwe I. 

The tribe that had remained in Moruleng was led by Borangwane according to Rantshabele, among them Morena Tshomankane, his son, Ditlhake, Mokale and Dikeme until in time there arose disputes that forced Licnhwe I to dispatch his brother Ramono around 1902/1903 to rule over the tribe in Linchwe’s stead. 

When Ramono died in 1917, his brother, Dialwa was appointed by Linchwe I as Kgosi in Mphebatho but he later left, thereby forcing Licnhwe I to send Kgosi Ofentse, the younger brother to Kgosi Isang. Ofentse, says Rantshabele, led the Morafe at Mmammitlwa as representative of Kgosi Molefi from 1922 to 1942 when he died.


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