A number of chiefs and headmen of communities forming the Bafokeng ‘tribe’ are challenging chief Leruo Molotlegi’s quest for the control of communities’ land.
In 2008, the Royal Bafokeng Administration (RBA), under chief Leruo Molotlegi’s command, sought to close shops owned by community members in Luka and Chaneng villages. Some of the shops were hired out to some Chinese nationals. Chief Rammereki Mekgwe of Baphiring in Luka village and other headmen lodged a Court interdict in the Mafikeng High Court to stop the Bafokeng chief from closing their shops. They claim in their affidavits that it is traditionally the community council (kgotla), the land owners, who allocates land to community members for residence or business purposes. It is only then, after such allocation, that the beneficiary will then approach the RBA, with a letter of authorisation from the kgotla, for RBA to install services such as fencing, water, roads and electricity. ‘That has been the traditional practice’, they claim. ‘RBA’s role is to provide those administrative services and utilities’.
‘RBA wants to control our land by issuing residential and business stands, we will be surprised one day to see a number of people coming in our villages claiming that they have been given stands at RBA by Hennie Kemp’, Chief Rammereki Mekgwe warned.
Interestingly, the matter is on a separate court roll from the other contested case with similar facts, where the Royal Bafokeng Nation are claiming ownership of some 61 farms.
The hearing was on the 17th March 2011 postponed to May 2011.