Bakgatla salivate at Moruleng wealth

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 23 September 2020   |   By Emmanuel Kalize
Bakgatla salivate at Moruleng wealth

Access to Moruleng  riches by Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in Mochudi suffered a major set back during the week when North West High Court in Mafikeng rejected an application by North West Premier in Mafikeng, Professor Tebogo Mokgoro seeking an order for Kgosi Kgafela II's uncle Nyalala Pilane to handover assets of the tribe to Kgosi Ramono Pilane Linchwe, the newly appointed regent. 

Last week North West Premier, Professor Tebogo Job Mokgoro instructed Nyalala Pilane to hand over assets of the tribe to Kgosi Ramono Pilane Linchwe appointed by the provincial government on interim basis. Mokgoro had earlier last month appointed Linchwe as Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela regent replacing Nyalala. Nyalala, who has been holding fort in Moruleng for many years, is challenging the decision by Mokgoro to de-recognised him and the tribe’s appointed interim administrator, Ramono Pilane Linchwe. The objection has put paid plans by the tribe to celebrate restoration in their troubled chieftainship. But the champagne will have to remain on ice for a little longer as Nyalala takes the protracted battle back to Mokgoro and kgafela II who may have believed that his troubles with the rival paternal uncle are over. Groups such as Bana Ba Bakgatla and Basadi-Ba-Bakgatla who are rallying behind Nyalala have already called for the removal of Kgafela II pressuring South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to act on their demands. Meanwhile Kgosi Sekai says it is their desire to see Bakgatla chieftainship saga in Moruleng totally resolved and the relationship between Bakgatla in Mochudi and Moruleng fully restored.

Bakgatla in Mochudi and Moruleng are known to be one people because of their historical family lineage of over 200 years ago. During his reign dethroned Nyalala presided over the mismanagement of the tribe’s immense wealth depriving Bakgatla in Mochudi their share. Moruleng is believed to be worth billions of rands accumulated from their mining, agriculture and other business ventures. Kgafela’s victory in South Africa is reportedly set to open doors for Bakgatla in Mochudi for them to also benefit from the tribe’s wealth in Moruleng.  The tribe in Moruleng has assets which include farms, platinum mines, game reserves, abattoir and shopping malls worth about R40 billion whereas in Mochudi the tribe is economically struggling to sustain itself and still wholly depend on government for essential amenities and services. Before his departure to South Africa Kgafela II revealed ambitious  projects which he believed will economically boost Kgatleng district in a similar manner to what is happening in South Africa. The projects which comprised of a game park, schools, stadiums, shopping malls and an an eco-suburb among others never materialised and it is yet to been seen if Bakgatla in Mochudi will use their share of wealth in Moruleng to fulfill Kgafela II’s dream.

Bakgatla in Mochudi and Moruleng are known to be one people because of their historical family lineage of over 200 years ago. As Kgafela’s victories in SA affirm this family linkage it has been brought up that the new turn of events will also open doors for Bakgatla in Mochudi to also benefit from the tribe’s wealth in Moruleng. Dethroned Pilane during his reign presided over the mismanagement of the tribe’s immense wealth depriving Bakgatla in Botswana their share. Bakgatla in Botswana have previously raised concerns that Bakgatla in Moruleng could be benefiting more from their tribal riches that side as compared to them.

In an interview Bakgatla Deputy Chief in Mochudi, Kgosi Bana Sekai said it is rightful that the tribe he is presiding over in Botswana should also benefit from Bakgatla’s wealth in South Africa. “As long as one is a Mokgatla-wa-Kgafela whatever is it that Bakgatla in Moruleng will benefit from the tribe’s wealth that side this mean that Mokgatla in Mochudi is also going to benefit all that in the same manner,” Sekai assured.

Taking a jab at Pilane and his die hard supporters, an elated Kgosi Sekai boasted that the hierarchy of Bakgatla’s chieftainship is straight forward and it will be impossible for someone to try to fraudulently twist it for his own selfishness. Some community members including some members of the royal family loyal to Pilane has vowed not to rest until Kgafela and his family are ousted from South Africa.

Quizzed about about Kgafela’s plans should he complete his mission in South Africa, Kgosi Sekai said it might take long for Kgafela to return to Botswana because of the warrant of arrest issued Botswana government has issued against him. Kgafela relocated to South Africa in 2012 with a mission to protect Bakgatla’s assets and wealth that were at the time being misused by his jilted uncle who was their custodian at the time. “Our wish is to see Kgafela moving this side but we can not say he should do that now under the current situation in Botswana, we will not be doing justice for him, so it is on government’s hands to see how their issue with Kgafela is amicably resolved first,” Sekai said. Sekai also said they are yet to hear about progress on the promises made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi last year that he will not rest until Kgafela returns back to Botswana.

Press Secretary to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Batlhalefi Leagajang said Masisi has done all the needful to fulfil the reconciliatory undertaking. “It is however, important to note that the return of Kgosi Kgafela II is a voluntary exercise that can only be done by himself,” Leagajang said. When quizzed about the warrant of arrest against Kgafela II which is the one blocking his return to Botswana Leagajang instead referred the question to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

JOSEPH KGAMANYANE 

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