Tshepo, an elected RBN Councillor for the Northern Region led the most difficult of the four regions, termed the ‘rebels region’. The region comprises of Luka, Mogono, Chaneng, Rasimone and Robega. Rapetsana, Head of Dikgosana in the Bafokeng Council, noted at the funeral, that Tshepo passed away at a time when they were both to embark on a programme to ‘work’ on the region.
The Mogono community remembers Tshepo for his active role in the Kgotla affairs, and for chairing a community Kgotla in around 2005/6 when Richard Spoor consulted with the Kgotla on their land, mining and environmental issues against Bafokeng and Impala mines. Tshepo was among a Kgotla delegation that travelled to the Department of Minerals and Energy’s offices in Klerksdorp to submit an objection by the Kgotla against Impala Platinum mine’s application for their new order mining rights. Tshepo Mputle was actively involved in the preparations for the inauguration of the late Kgosi Mogono, who was also very fond of the young Tshepo’s resilience. Kgosi Mogono passed away (also under mysterious circumstances) after serving only a year in office and having expressed his support for the community’s land restitution.
Following Tshepo’s funeral, Kgotla ya Mogono took a resolution on the 21st February 2010 to challenge the Application in the Mafikeng High Court by the Royal Bafokeng Nation to transfer and register the community’s farms: Klein Doornspruit 108JQ (Mogono) and Hartbeestspruit 88JQ (Melloe) into the name of the Royal Bafokeng Nation. The community wants the farms transferred and registered in the name of the community.
Phillemon Khunou added that, there has been mining projects on Welbekend by Impala Platinum which the community has not been consulted on. “We want the title transferred and registered in the community name so that we are able to manage our own lands and just like those other communities like Mamerotse and Tantanana who are currently managing their own land through Communal Property Associations’. ‘We want to manage and administer our land for ourselves’, he emphasised. ‘The Bafokeng were initially afforded a fudiciary duty to administer our land for us, and not to benefit from the land and at our exclusion. The community of Tsitsing must be benefiting from their own land, and not the Bafokeng in Phokeng’, Phillemon, having been active in local politics since childhood observed that the recent ‘100 days to the 2010 World Cup’ celebrations were brought to Tsitsing Stadium during the time the Court Case was being heard in Mafikeng. ‘The community was not aware that there was a Court case going on in Mafikeng, they were brought this 100 days celebration event to distract them from seeing the real picture that their land was being transferred’, he fumed.
‘We will thrash out the case in Mafikeng and continue steadfastly to have the Commissioner and the Land Claims Court to finalise our gazetted claim’, he said assertively.
As committed as ever on their land claim, the Thekwana community converged once more on the 07th February 2010 to give a clear mandate to the representatives to oppose the Mafikeng High Court application by the Bafokeng Royal Nation. The representatives were offered a choice to consult lawyers of repute to challenge the Bafokeng including the Legal Resources Centre. The representatives have since approached the Legal Resources Centre who has officially taken up the matter, and will once more represent the community. The LRC was approached since it represented the community before and is therefore familiar with the community claim. The LRC was also approached for their impeccable record in assisting poor rural communities with their land claims.