Bakgatla to join Mampuru Day festivities

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Bakgatla-Baa-Kgafela from Mochudi and Moruleng together with their fugitive Kgosi, Kgafela II, will travel to Mamone village in Limpopo Province, South Africa on Friday, to celebrate Mampuru Day.

This follows two kgotla meetings last week where the tribe was informed that Kgosi Sekwati Mampuru III of Mamone has invited them along with Kgafela to the ceremony.

According to Mangana regiment secretary, Kabelo Mosweetsi, the tribe will travel to Mamone on January 23 and join the celebrations the next day. Mampuru Day is celebrated annually in Mamone as a remembrance of Kgosi Mampuru II, who was hanged by the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1600s. Like Kgafela Day celebrations, which started this year, both members of the tribes will put on their traditional attire to mark the day.

Chief Mampuru II was hanged at the Pretoria jail (named after him), on November 22, 1883, for public violence and revolt, as well as the murder of rival leader Sekhukhune in the same year. The current chief, Mampuru III, has urged the government to assist the tribe to trace the remains of the executed leader so that he could be afforded a decent burial in Mamone.  The Mangana secretary Mosweetsi, said that different mephato from Mochudi will attend the ceremony in Mamone, Limpopo in their full traditional gear.

Members of the Mangana regiment who have since taken over after government banned deputy chief Bana Sekai mostly attended the kgotla meeting. Mangana regiment chairperson, Moagi Molebatsi, said that buses have been hired and that any Mokgatla interested in the trip should pay P350 to join the festivities.  He said that they have also hired combis and that individual vehicles will also assist other tribe members with the transport. During the Saturday kgotla meeting Bakgatla wanted clarification on whether Bapedi directly invited them or if they would be joining Kgafela for the ceremony. Molebatsi, made it clear that both Kgafela and his tribe are invited.

However, the tribe was disappointed to receive just the Mampuru Day invitation during the meeting where they were rather expectant of news of Kgafela, as a public announcement had suggested. The loudspeaker announcement made the day before informed Bakgatla that they should expect to hear more about Kgafela at the meeting. “We wanted to hear how Kgabo is doing, about his battles in Moruleng and when he is coming back,” said one young Mochudi resident at the meeting. “We were misled by the loudspeaker announcement and I regret coming here,” she said.

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