BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that a Botswana Chief, residing as a fugitive in South Africa, is allegedly scheming to capture and rule the platinum-rich Bakgatla ba Kgafela community in the North West.
As gathered, Kgafela Kgafela arrived the seat of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela traditional council at Moruleng village, South Africa in 2012.
He reportedly fled Botswana after a warrant for his arrest was issued, and was welcomed by his royal relatives.
Segale Pilane, a member of the tribal council in Moruleng told City Press that the Botswana Chief is seriously plotting to capture and rule a community in a country that isn’t his.
According to Pilane, the Botswana Chief is always attempting to impose his decisions and even “launched a number of failed legal bids to take control.”
Pilane said: “He also ran up a legal bill of R5 million, which he wanted the tribal administration to settle, but we refused. (He) has no powers in Moruleng other than the respect that we have been affording our traditional elders in Botswana.
We’re linked to Bakgatla in Botswana by our forefathers… (He) must go back home to deal with his differences with the state there and take his rightful seat as a chief there.”
The member of the tribal council in Moruleng added that the Botswana Chief planning to remove Nyalala Pilane and install an illegitimate person as a chief.
“For someone who is in the country illegally he is wreaking havoc, causing instability here. Our government is allowing him to do it when Botswana’s government would have arrested us if we did the same there,” lamented Pilane.
Another member of the traditional council, Ntshadi Tsheole said: “He is disregarding our laws here and using customs to hijack our chieftaincy.
To us (he) is a relative and has no say in our affairs unless we go to Botswana and seek advice or intervention from traditional leaders there.
We cannot allow him to disrespect the laws of our country…he will remain our relative but he is not going to control us. He doesn’t appear anywhere in the records of South Africa and we cannot be bound by customs and anything that occurred before the Constitution of South Africa was adopted,” Tsheole declared.
In line with that, the tribal council issued a statement saying it’s “preposterous to think that anybody and a foreign national for that matter can think that they can walk in and usurp the powers of another kingdom.”
History says the traditional leaders of the Bakgatla in Botswana and those in Moruleng, South Africa are relatives. However, those in Moruleng prefer to be regarded as a separate kingdom as both kingdoms are respectively, separately recognized by the Botswana and South African government.