Kgafela Kgafela II is the supreme and apex leader of Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in Moruleng. Premier of the North West, Professor Job Mokgoro announced the development this week following recommendations of the Maluleke Judicial Commission.
The Commission further recommended to the Premier that Bakgatla, in both Mochudi and Moruleng also known as Saulspot, were one people.
The Commission also asserted Kgafela II’s authority that the Custom and Traditions of Bakgatla over 200 years have recognised the institution of ‘Kgosikgolo’ and that Kgosikgolo, without morafe, can hire and fire a Chief in Moruleng.
On Kgosi Nyalala Pilane the Commission said he should step down within 30-60 days. And that Kagiso Pilane, should leave the position of Chief Operations Officer with immediate effect and that all Bakgatla assets worth about R40 billion be placed under an administrator.
The Commission and the Premier accepted the grotesque corruption and irregularities in relation to Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela money and assets that included farms, platinum mines, game reserves, abattoir and shopping malls.
This has resulted in both Nyalala Pilane and Kagiso Pilane becoming super wealthy, amidst the consistent cries of poverty-stricken 32 villages that make the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela tribal administration, said the Commission.
The Commission agreed with Kgafela II’s argument throughout the Commission that Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela have a supreme leader and in this case it was him, being the current occupant of the seat in Mochudi.
The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela monarch is back in control of the appointments of chiefs, as it has been the case with all the other five Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela Paramount Chiefs before him. The Maluleke Commission gave Kgafela II powers to appoint a Chief in Moruleng, and only Kgafela II can dismiss the Chief.
The ruling has been met with jubilation and excitement in both Mochudi and the entire Pilanesburg area as the victory means Pilane is removed within 60 days. Kgosi Nyalala Pilane had become very unpopular because of his wealth that did not go down well with the 300,000-strong community he led.
Kgafela put up a spirited and often dangerous fight against a wealthy man, who was supported by multinationals doing business in Pilanesburg. Kgafela’s victory means that he was now entrenched as the apex leader of the entire Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela.
How the Botswana Government will react now that Kgafela is currently recognised here, is another matter.
But indications are that President Mokgweetsi Masisi might soon recognise Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela monarch for the sake of unity and peace to prevail in Mochudi.
Kgafela is currently in South Africa holding multiple citizenships. Kgosikgolo Kgafela holds the Botswana citizenship, the American citizenship, where he was born and the South African citizenship through his mother, Kathleen Motsepe. But the Botswana laws do not allow multiple citizenship.