Self-suf­fi­ciency vi­sion deep rooted

Finweek English Edition - - Cover -

THE VI­SION of self-suf­fi­ciency goes back a long way for the Bafo­keng na­tion. It be­gan buy­ing back the land from which it was dis­placed by Paul Kruger’s Transvaal Repub­lic in 1866. From 1869, young Bafo­keng men were sent by the King – Kgosi Mok­ga­tle, who ruled be­tween 1834 and 1891 – to work in the di­a­mond mines in Kim­ber­ley to help fi­nance the land-buy­ing ex­er­cise.

The Lutheran Mis­sion So­ci­ety as­sisted by buy­ing and hold­ing the land in trust on be­half of the Bafo­keng. By 1926, most of the land had been bought when the leg­endary Hans Meren­sky dis­cov­ered sig­nif­i­cant plat­inum re­serves on Bafo­keng prop­erty.

Over the next seven decades var­i­ous min­ing com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments tried to dis­pos­sess the Bafo­keng of their land rights. The land was mined for the ben­e­fit of such com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments with­out any ben­e­fit to the king­dom.

The Bafo­keng waged ac­ri­mo­nious le­gal wars with the suc­ces­sive apartheid gov­ern­ments – par­tic­u­larly for­mer Bo­phuthatswana “home­land” leader Lu­cas Man­gope – for the right to min­ing roy­al­ties. Vic­tory was fi­nally achieved in 1996 when the min­ing com­pa­nies – par­tic­u­larly Im­pala Plat­inum – agreed to pay 22% of its pre­tax prof­its as roy­al­ties to the Bafo­keng.

That roy­alty rev­enue has since been used for the eco­nomic up­lift­ment of the na­tion, much of it go­ing to in­fra­struc­ture and ed­u­ca­tion. Strong and self­less lead­er­ship by the royal fam­ily has en­sured the en­tire na­tion ben­e­fits.

Par­tic­u­lar in­flu­ence comes from the Queen Mother, Se­mane Bonolo Molotlegi. She’s in­volved in com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in and around the Pho­keng area, with a par­tic­u­lar pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion. In ad­di­tion to all the Bafo­keng schools, Mo­hu­ma­gadi (Queen) Se­mane has re­cently adopted an­other school in Rusten­burg. She also runs soup kitchens and is in­volved with HIV/Aids ini­tia­tives in the Pho­keng area. She was born in Botswana.

How­ever, the royal fam­ily has been through tough and tragic times. Mo­hu­ma­gadi Se­mane’s hus­band and two sons died within six years of each other. Kgosi Ed­ward Le­bone Molotlegi I ruled be­tween 1956 and 1995. His reign was in­ter­rupted by the “Ban­tus­tan” sys­tem in 1988, when he was hounded into ex­ile to neigh­bour­ing Botswana, only to re­turn in 1994. He died a year later.

Dur­ing his ex­ile years, Man­gope in­stalled Le­bone Molotlegi’s brother, Ge­orge Mok­waro Molotlegi (1936-1997) as Kgosi in 1988.

Mo­hu­ma­gadi Se­mane’s eldest son, Kgosi Moll­wane Boikanyo Molotlegi, a grad­u­ate of Howard Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton, took over from his fa­ther and reigned be­tween 1995 and 2000. He died in March 2000, aged 35. His death fol­lowed that of his younger brother, Prince Fosi Boemo Molotlegi (born 1966), ex­actly a year ear­lier.

Kgosi Mok­ga­tle 1834-1891

Kgosi Molotlegi 1897-1938

Kgosi Man­ot­she Molotlegi 1938-1956

Kgosi Ed­ward Pa­trick Le­bone 1956-1995

Kgosi Moll­wane Le­bone Boikanyo Molotlegi Le­bone 1995-2000

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.