The voice of the voiceless people of Bafokeng has noticed the increasing numbers of newcomers to the intriguing Bafokeng Kgotha-Kgothe meetings. More and more frustrated, out of work young people, attend the Kgotha-kgothe meetings to air their views on poor Bafokeng administration and its feudal leadership.
What many of the ‘newcomers’ do not realize is that the concerns they raise have been told a zillion times before by their ancestors in the same Kgotha Kgothe meetings. ‘If you say we are going to vote, how did you determine the quorum in this meeting?’ asked Terry Bogopane. The reported case of Bogopane vs Mokgatlhe (+1955) questioned the Bafokeng chief’s abuse of authority to take decisions with only a handful of people attending the Kgotha kgothe. In more recent times, many organizations and interest groups have been formed within the Bafokeng to raise the very same concerns. When a group of disgruntled people tried to disrupt the recent Kgotha Kgothe of the 18th June, they were in fact repeating what had happened in around 1922 when a group of rebels took over Kgotha Kgothe proceedings from chief August Mokgatle.
The point is that ‘newcomers’ must be aware that the royal family, with years of attendance to these meetings, knows exactly the issues that will be raised, and now sees these Kgotha-kgothe meetings as venting sessions, a therapeutic exercise for hungry, poor ‘new grumblers’. ‘Ke kgwele se se mofatlheng..o nkutlwile..i feel better now’. Without addressing the real concerns raised, the family goes back to their usual business…exploitation.
‘The best option for Bafokeng Kgotha-kgothe newcomers is for them to join and strengthen existing dissenting organisations advocating legitimate concerns within the Bafokeng bantustan’, advised Thusi Rapoo, secretary of the Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association.