All that glitters is not GOLD
The Bafokeng nation has not been without its controversies, including disputes over land and leadership, and disgruntled community members who feel they are not benefiting from the fortune of the precious metal.
Three years ago, two families and 11 community groups joined hands to form the Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association (BLBA) and approached the North West High Court to stop the Royal Bafokeng from getting legal title to 50 platinum-rich farms.
The feisty BLBA organises meetings and protests claiming human rights violations and that communities are being taken advantage of among the Bafokeng.
For instance, the BLBA has raised concerns about not being able to protest because, it says, the municipality requires Bafokeng communities to obtain permission from the king when they want to march against him.
In a recent court ruling at the North West High Court in Mahikeng, Justice Adolph Landman ruled that the Royal Bafokeng nation had to prove, at a later trial date, that it had authority to place 61 properties in its name.
On its website, the association has also expressed concern at the announcement that the king would open a family trust and go into business for himself.
The BLBA says: “The moribund Bafokeng Development Trust and the recent failed attempt by the chief to register Bafokeng land in his name [the case referred to above] has in effect scuppered the chief’s plans to have total control over the Bafokeng assets.
“His plans to open a private entity and his request to go on a long sabbatical have left much suspicion for a number of concerned Bafokeng communities.”