-Writes Thusi Rapoo
Many of the ‘Bafokeng’ communities that bought land from the boers in the mid 19th century had two common objectives in mind, to steer off white oppression and to provide for their livelihoods using their indigenous traditional systems practiced at the time.
The current Bafokeng chief’s determination to destroy Bafokeng communities’ traditional systems has been questioned. Who has given him authority to corporatize and urbanize the Bafokeng? Who is actually ill-advising him?
The Bafokeng communities are rural ‘communist’ settlements, peaceful, united, with no need for the chief’s urbanization programmes. Millions of rands have been spend and wasted on the failed 2020 vision, the utopian Bafokeng Master Plan and now the distant 2035 Plan which only seeks to shift goal posts further away from beneficiation. The plans are likely to create dual economies for the haves and the have-nots within the Rustenburg-Bafokeng region, with the former, a small minority of crooked local elites, earmarked to be the ultimate beneficiaries of the Bafokeng accumulated R30billion wealth.
Chaneng activist Joseph Magobe summed it well that ‘the corporatization and urbanization of the Bafokeng into a cold capitalist machine at the expense of the poor and their local indigenous knowledge systems will bear devastating effects to local livelihoods. We have said before that if the chief was elected and not born, he would not have been re-elected on account of poor performance, wasteful spending, condonation of ecocidal practices by foreign multinational companies, disgraceful ignorance on the importance of green economy, poor economic and political foresight, lack of service delivery, western tendencies, and his dictatorial and indifferent Khama/Mangope/PW Botha style of leadership’.
Some people are adamant that the Bafokeng chief’s leadership is reckless and irresponsible, and could be charged and disposed in the court of law for violating (customary) laws.
‘Who wants 2035 when most of the concerned Bafokeng elderly would already be dead by 2020?’ Pointing to Ms Gillian Kettaneh and Nial Caroll in the Bafokeng report, Magobe lamented, ‘ comrades… 2020 Vision, the Masterplan, 2035 Plan are simply the World Bank’s grand plan to keep us quite and waiting while they loot our platinum wealth. The poor kaffir kaptein is most probably not even aware of it!’