MAFIKENG: Kgosi Lotlamoreng II of Barolong ba Botswana was among dignitaries at the opening of the refurbished House of Chiefs here on Friday by North West Premier, Edna Molewa.
At this opening, Molewa was handed a report by Judge Herbert Hendler regarding a chieftainship staleate of Bakwena ba Mogopa near Rustenburg over the rightful heir to the throne.
The commission was appointed in September last year and has received verbal and documentary evidence from various witnesses. It was tasked to investigate the question of chieftainship and the rightful heir of the traditional community.
The commission has recommended that Motheo Mamogale must be appointed and recognised as chief of Bakwena Ba Mogopa as soon as possible.
The commission also looked into maladministration involving all the various financial and administrative problems within the traditional community and its relationship with companies, more particular those wishing to mine and prospect on tribal land.
The Bafokeng tribe, led by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, whose jurisdiction includes Bakwena ba Mogopa, are said to be the richest tribe in Africa. The tribe enjoys royalties from platinum found abundantly in the province. Kgosi Molotlegi is a cousin of President Ian Khama. The commission says members of all the main families of Bakwena ba Mogopa royal family reached a consensus during the sittings of the commission that Motheo is the son of the late Kgosi Letlhogile Royal David Mamogale and therefore the rightful heir to the chieftainship.
This commission has recommended that Dinatsotlhe Mamogale be considered for appointment as deputy chief to assist Motheo in his duties until he has completed his studies. Dinatsotlhe is Motheo's paternal uncle. He is a half brother of the late Kgosi Letlhogile Royal David Mamogale, Motheo's father. His brothers are the older Ernest and the younger Lephoi, both fathered by the late Kgosi Lerothodi Mamogale by his second wife.
Evidence heard by the commission revealed that Ernest is not interested to act as Kgosi although he is, in terms of customary rules of the community, the rightful heir. The Commission was of the view that Dinatsotlhe qualifies for consideration as deputy kgosi.
The commission has asked the government to appoint a qualified administrator or a firm of auditors to sort out the affairs of the tribe. "The Bakwena Ba Mogopa have a great deal of wealth under the ground on farms which they own, and if properly administered there would be more than sufficient funds available to see to the welfare of the tribe".
The commission observed but discovered that "the community is spending huge sums of the money on legal fees to firms of attorneys for transactions that are taking too long to conclude". It recommended that an administrator must immediately investigate the ongoing negotiations between 'the mining committee and mining companies'.
"Certain firms of attorneys are costing the tribe thousands of Rand every month and the commission cannot understand why these transactions are taking so long to finalise" the handler Commission observed.
It was the Commission's concern that the tribe is losing money continuously and that more is going out of their coffers in expenses than the money earned in the form of royalties. Premier Molewa said chieftainship still had its place in modern society.
"As history beckons, the ancient African philosophy and practices of governance were indeed visionary, participatory and involving people through dipitso, dikgoro, matsema and
"Today still, many developmental challenges which we face require the wisdom and contribution of Dikgosi in our system of governance, as the interface of communication and the improved delivery of services to the rural poor.
In this regard, traditional leaders are able to contribute in a meaningful and decisive way, to the growth and development of our people, helping government to improve our relationships with our rural communities.
"It is for this reason that we remain relentless as government, in our efforts to implement our training programmes for Dikgosi, which seek to enhance their role of improving access to services at local government level.
"I therefore proudly announce that the Comprehensive National Program of Support for Dikgosi will be piloted in the province.
My Office has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Local Government in this regard".
Molewa said she was worried about disputes of Bogosi adding that they pose a critical challenge for the government and the House. She assured the House that her government would move speedily to implement the recommendations that the Commission made. The North West provincial government is considering establishing a royal trust which will be used as a vehicle to empower traditional leaders and their families in various fields such as education.
"There is indeed no doubt that the role that can be played by Dikgosi in our developmental state is critical as traditional councils remain a critical catalyst to make local government work better for our people.
"As custodians of cultural values and customs, you occupy strategic positions in our society to provide leadership in restoring morality and Botho in our communities. We cannot afford to allow what happened in Pella to continue.
We need, as traditional leaders to be at the forefront to fight against this foreign behaviour of people attacking others because they regard them as foreigners. In our culture we know that Matlo go sha mabapi. E bile motho ga a iphetse, motho ke motho ka ba bangwe.
"This house must continue to promote sound moral values and ethical practices, assisting government to promote social cohesion and fight against crime, xenophobia, racism, and diseases such as HIV and AIDs," Molewa said.
Isolated incidences of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals residing in Alexandra and Diepsloot shanty towns near Johannesburg made headlines this week after three people were killed.
Most of those attacked were Zimbabwean and Mozambican nationals.
Exactly what caused the attacks is unclear but some believe South Africa's poor were acting out of frustration due to the escalating food prices and the lack of jobs.
Unemployed and unskilled South Africans say foreigners are stealing their jobs. The Daily Sun, a tabloid popular for its sorcery sourced stories, said the attacks are likely to continue unless the government intervenes.
Premier Molewa said there was need to strengthen relations between the House of Traditional Leaders, municipalities and the South African Local Government Association for the purpose of improving service delivery.
"The continued transformation of the institution of traditional leadership remains a critical priority as we navigate the turbulent seas of our developmental state in rural communities," said the premier.