Judge Landman at the Mafikeng High Court has ordered today that the Bafokeng chief prove, at a trial date to be set, that he had proper authorisation to have 61 farms registered in his name. Some of these platinum-rich farms have been claimed by various communities forming the Bafokeng ‘tribe’.
The trial will determine if the Bafokeng Supreme Council indeed authorized the chief to lodge the Application, and if it did, does the Supreme Council itself have the power to give such authority. The trial will further determine if the Kgotha kgothe meetings of July 2006 indeed overturned the authority of the Supreme Council.
Note should be taken that both the Bafokeng Supreme Council and Kgotha Kgothe structures are unique to the Bafokeng, and are not regulated by any statute. Only Traditional Councils are established and regulated by statute, the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act.
The LRC is more qualified to explain the implications of the ruling.
In brief, we got the relief we sought that firstly, the chief must prove that he was properly authorised to have Bafokeng land transfered and re-registered in his name rather than with original landbuying native communities settled in early Rustenburg. We are confident he was not properly authorised, an argument now referred to a trial hearing on a date to be arranged. Should it be proven that there was no proper authorisation, RBN’s main Application will also fall.
Secondly, RBN must now pay our enormous legal costs in the main Application incurred after we filed our Notice to oppose.
The legal implication here is that soon after the Applicant/RBN became aware of opposition, they should have immediately converted motion proceedings to action/summons proceedings.Instead they got us to incur unnecessary costs answering their papers,only for them to abondon the motion proceedings.
The costs order here is punitive.
Eventually, the main case must also still go to trial.