Purported RBN Traditional Council response to BLBA motion to remove Bafokeng chief Molotlegi from office
At a successful Sunday 22 July 2018 community Workshop on both Traditional Leadership and Governance, and the Land Expropriation without Compensation debate held at Robega Village next to Sun City, Bafokeng communities endorsed a Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association (‘BLBA’) petition requesting Bafokeng Royal Family to remove Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi from office as chief of the Royal Bafokeng Nation. The request was served on known senior Bafokeng Royal Family members, and published on BLBA website.
Mr Letlhogonolo Masilo, purportedly writing on behalf of either the Royal Bafokeng Supreme Council or Bafokeng Traditional Council, and on behalf of the Royal Bafokeng Administration, served Mr Thusi Rapoo (BLBA Chief Executive Officer) with two letters responding to the above request for the chief’s removal.
The first letter addressed to Mr Rapoo’s mother and the Rapoo Family, seek a response by the 26th July 2018 confirming if the Rapoo Family is in support of Mr Rapoo’s submissions, tabled at the Mogono Kgotla on the 08 July 2018. Mr Rapoo had at the said Kgotla meeting endorsed BLBA motion for the removal of the chief based on additional grounds peculiar to the Mogono community.
The chief sought at the said meeting, removal of Minister of Land Reform and Rural Development as trustee of the land claimed by the Mogono Community and others. Ownership of Bafokeng land is in dispute before the Courts, and in which Mogono Community seek transfer and registration of the two farms claimed (Klein Doornspruit 108JQ and Hartbeestspruit 88JQ) in its own names and not in the Bafokeng chief’s name.
The chief cast aspersion on the Community to administer its own land by cynically asking the Kgotla: “what are you going to do with the land?” The chief further alleged that the ANC and its Minister were corrupt and could therefore not be entrusted with holding land on behalf of the Bafokeng tribe, as is the case. For this reason further the chief does not support amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa for ‘Land Expropriation without Compensation’.
In response Mr Rapoo lamented that the chief was disingenuous in accusing the ANC of corruption, when he himself was corrupt and was running a corrupt administration. Mr Rapoo reiterated, on a number of grounds, that the chief was not fit to rule as chief of the Bafokeng and should instead resign. Interestingly, other than his known weakness to take criticisms personally, the chief conceded that he made mistakes, and that if asked, he would not mind to resign as he also had ideas and a mind of his own.
In the second letter responding to the published BLBA motion, Masilo records a position allegedly by the Traditional Council against the motion to remove the chief. Masilo states that BLBA has no right, power or permission to make such a request, but that such power to remove or identify a chief is the reserve and prerogative of the Royal Family.
It is not clear if Masilo’s letter is a decision of the Traditional Council, or the Supreme Council or of the Royal Bafokeng Administration. The Royal families have not made any response to BLBA motion.
BLBA indicated it will take further steps to approach the NW Premier’s Office should there be no positive response from the Royal Family.