All that glitters is not GOLD

CityPress - - Business -

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.”

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