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Kgafela’s radical reforms for Bakgatla

Publishing Date : 16 January, 2018

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

The exiled Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II has proposed some radical reforms to his tribesmen who had visited Moruleng recently.


The self-exiled chief, while endorsing Kgosi Bana Sekai as his replacement this past week told the tribal leadership to implement certain radical reforms in his absence in a bid to instill discipline and pride within the tribe. Kgafela is said to have made it clear that he wants to make the tribe the envy of other tribes, by making it sovereign and disciplined.


Kgafela ordered his regiment, Mangana at a meeting last Saturday at Kgabutle, South Africa. The purpose of the meeting was to give the regiment an opportunity to present Kgosi Bana Sekai to Kgosi Kgafela II after the government decided to reinstate him as the deputy Kgosi. He will also represent Bakgatla at Ntlo ya Dikgosi.


“We went to present Kgosi Sekai and he accepted him of which we will be having a huge ceremony this Saturday (today). We will further tomorrow (Sunday) have another ceremony in Moruleng as part of our year ending ceremony where Sekai will be presented that side,” Mangana regiment leader, Moagi Molebatsi said. The meeting was attended by the regiment from Botswana, Kgafela, Kgosi Ramphothetu, Segale Lentswe, Lekoba Lentswe as well as Kgosi Bana Sekai.


Kgafela was happy about the good work done by his peers and promised to celebrate them in future. “Mophato should do something for the tribe and this is one of the achievements which will be our legacy. In short Mokgatla is happy for what we did by pushing government to re-instate Kgosi Sekai as our representative at Ntlo ya Dikgosi,” said Molebatsi who has been very involved in the matters affecting Kgosi Kgafela and the Botswana government.


REGIMENT TO RESUME FLOGGINGS

Another controversial subject that dominate at the meeting between the maverick Kgafela II and his regiment is the issue of floggings. Kgafela ordered his regiment to begin the infamous floggings that saw him flee to South Africa in 2012. He gave some to do list which the tribal leadership still working on. “We will continue to remove delinquents from Kgatleng. Zero tolerance of drugs and other illicit behaviors,” Molebatsi said before adding. “Re tloo letsa moretlwa kgabo, but it is not like we are shining about it we want to instill law in our tribe of which after some time others will bench mark here.”


The flogging of members of the public in Kgatleng which were carried out by Kgafela’s regiments, is the main reason why he exiled to Moruleng. However, this time around the regiment is aware of government’s position on the matter and “will follow all the necessary processes”.
“This time around we will agree with government on the formula. Already we have been engaging the council through by-laws, Councillors and Members of Parliament and we are still in talks with them but soon we will be correcting Kgatleng.”


KGAFELA WANTS LAND RIGHTS

As is the aspiration of Batlokwa in Tlokweng, Bakgatla also want a land quota system in which the indigenous community should be given preferable treatment. During discussions with Kgafela last Saturday, a decision was taken to audit the Bakgatla land before confronting the government. “The land issue is a concern to us. Our land is stolen from us, we wish what Batlokwa pleaded for could happen even here, beng-gae should be considered first rather than outsiders getting the land at the expense of the locals,” Molebatsi stressed.


On land issues, the government appears to be in total control through Land Boards, however Bakgatla believe that it is time they wake up as their land is continuously being taken away from them, they argue that what compound their situation further is the fact that they are in close proximity to the capital city which is expanding in their direction.


Molebatsi was quoted cautioning government on mismanagement of land saying in future it could cause conflicts, which could plunge the country into civil unrest. He said the implementation of developments by Government should not be at the expense of Bakgatla, whose land is expropriated by the state and sold off to foreigners. Developments in Kgatleng should be done to benefit the tribe, he emphasized.


BAKGATLA TO TELL KHAMA ALL IN FEBRUARY

Kgafela was also informed his audience at the meeting that President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama will bid his tribe farewell on the 15th of February. He indicated that the meeting will be tell-all from Bakgatla leadership to Khama who is somehow regarded as the monster who scared their Kgosi away. “We will advise the President on a number of issues he did not handle well during his reign and we will advise him accordingly on how he could have managed them,” the soft spoken Molebatsi said on Wednesday evening.


He however could not be drawn into discussing what the President did not handle well. Asked whether they are negotiating with Khama for Kgafela to return, he said; “Mokgatla and President are talking at personal level and it is not like he hates him (Khama) things will normalize,” he diplomatically said. The tensions between Bakgatla and government escalated in 2012 with a number of criminal charges laid against Kgafela and some of his tribesmen. He later fled to South Africa and government took a decision to de-recognize him as Bakgatla Kgosi.

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