Bafokeng still leaderless

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So much has happened around Bafokeng since our last report. BLBA held a successful AGM on 02 Sept 2012. See the following report: Organisational Report: BLBA AGM – 02 09 2012

This year marks 100 years since the passing of the segregationist Land Act of 1913. University of Cape Town held a successful conference, the Land Divided Conference, on 24-27 March in commemoration of the Act.

Bruno Seabela, the earstwhile legal guru for the Bafokeng and the Security head, Zietsman have since left the Royal house. This has added to the increasing number of professionals and senior Bafokeng employees leaving the Royal house since the start of RBN’s attempted land heist.  

Bafokeng Head of Research, Suzan Cook was out of character to admit, as reported, that Bafokeng leadership has been negligent on environmental damages caused by mining within Bafokeng villages.

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of Mmuthi Pilane, chief of Motlhabe village against Nyalala Pilane. The Court found the Mafikeng High Court to have erred in refusing Motlhabe community permission to hold meetings and discussions about their wish to secede from the broader Bakgatla ba Kgafela ‘tribe’. This is a major victory for North West traditional communities in many respects, one of which is a reprimand of and an acknowledgement of rebuttable decisions taken in a number of cases by the Mafikeng High Court in support of imposed illegitimate chiefs. In terms of the ConCourt decision, communities are free to meet and to discuss if whether they still want to be ruled by the imposed illegitimate tribal authorities or not.

Regarding the Thekwana Community’s application for restitution of their land to the Land Claims Court in Randburg, the Minister, as Respondent on the case, had requested the Court to allow Bafokeng until the 31 March 2013 to lodge opposing papers. The Minister agrees with BLBA and Bafokeng communities’ assertion in the Mafikeng case that the historic, complex land purchases around Rustenburg and Pilanesburg will need a land rights inquiry.

Led by the Legal Resources Centre, BLBA and communities’ defense on the Mafikeng case 999/08 is on course. The RBN has conceded to have committed a procedural flaw. To circumvent their mistake, they then lodged a second application based on Rule 6(5)g, that instead of dismissal, that the case should instead be referred directly for trial. The communities are opposing the second application, and want the dismissal of the main Bafokeng application first, with costs. The communities submitted to the Court a further application in terms of Rule 7 to have the Bafokeng chief submit proof, before he goes further with anything on any matter, that he has authorization to bring these cases to the Courts. Without such proof, all cases, including the main one, should be dismissed, with costs.

BLBA has lodged a submission to the Farlam Commission on the Lonmin’s Marikana Massacre. BLBA contends that Marikana is but a symptom of larger problem. BLBA urges the Commission to make findings on the genocidal behavior of mining companies and their ‘tribal’ partners, including the covert security forces on the platinum belt.

The community of Chaneng once again went on the streets in February/March and shut Anglo/ RBPlat’s Styldrift Project. Around six activists were arrested. There are in fact a number of cases on members of the community that are still outstanding. The arrests and charges leveled against community members are seen as a common intimidation tactic by mining companies and the collaborative States all over the world on poor and weak mining communities.

The queen mother, Semane, seem to have lost on her campaign to have Luka communities pay for their portable polluted water. Semane had insisted that she will install prepaid water meters in the villages. It is alleged that since the failed campaign, piped drinking water has been deliberately polluted, with many households now resorting to buying bottled water.

Poverty is an inherent feature in the Bafokeng, despite being declared the richest tribe in Africa with R36 billion in assets. Government has recently provided a number of indigent Bafokeng households, well over 100, with RDP houses.

Over the past weekend, 13 April 2013, Bafokeng’s chief Leruo Molotlegi was told by communities of Chaneng, Mafenya, Rasimone and Robega that they do not want to be part of the so called Royal Bafokeng Nation anymore. Apparently the chief tried to reinstate the Chaneng headman Setshoane who was earlier deposed by the Chaneng community.  Later on the day, at Thethe High School, the community of Luka told the chief that he is a dictator. That he doesn’t even respect his Council as he vetoes their Council decisions. Just when he was about to respond, electricity went off, only for the supply to come back soon after the aborted meeting had dispersed.

There is a planned picket demonstration against the repressive Royal Bafokeng Platinum at their offices at Fourways (Montecasino) on the 02ndMay 2013. Details will be made available on our ‘Know Your Past’ facebook group page.

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