Royal leaders embraced

2016-06-29 06:00
KGOSI OBAKENG ALLUCIOUS MOTHIBI was inaugurated as the new chief of the Batlhaping at a ceremony held in the Sekhing Village near Pampierstad on Saturday (25/06).  Photos: Boipelo Mere

KGOSI OBAKENG ALLUCIOUS MOTHIBI was inaugurated as the new chief of the Batlhaping at a ceremony held in the Sekhing Village near Pampierstad on Saturday (25/06). Photos: Boipelo Mere

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THE Batlhaping have their chief, the 22-year-old Kgosi Obakeng Allucious Mothibi, at last. His inauguration follows the death of Kgosi Kgosiemang Isaac Mothibi of Batlhaping ba ga Phuduhutswana ba ga Mothibi.

The inauguration ceremony was held on Saturday (25/06) in the Sekhing Village outside Pampierstad, through the partnership of the Batlhaping tribe, the Tribal Council and the North West Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs.

Kgosi Ponatshego Mothibi, Kgosi Oba­keng’s aunt, the regent, was enthroned at the event.

Kgosi Ponatshego had become the regent following a request by Kgosi Obakeng to be given a three-year sabbatical to study Law. She will rule until this period has elapsed.

Sekhing was a hive of activity as chiefs from all over the North West and Northern Cape, as well as members of the Batlhaping tribe from different villages, came to witness the inauguration and enthronement.

Ontlametse Mochwari, MEC for Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs in the North West, and Kgosi Shadrack Zibi, chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders in the North West, gave messages of support.

Several mayors of different municipalities, including Robbie Tsikwe, mayor of Phokwane, and Kaone Lobelo of the Greater Taung Municipality, also attended the event.

The Batlhaping ba ga Phuduhutswana are well-known in the Northern Cape as the owners of the land from Stella just outside Vryburg up to Hopetown.

The late Kgosi Kgosiemang is known to have lodged a claim with the Land Claims Commission.

In a synopsis of a statement issued at the inauguration and enthronement, the royal family wrote: “It needs to be remembered that around 1910, the government had planned to give Galeshewe other land to reside on. In 1927, a request was made to the government for additional land with better grazing and water.

“The government responded by offering farms, which Kgosi Batlhasitse II and Galeshewe II rejected outright.

“Batlhasite II, assisted by his followers, waged a struggle for the restoration of the bogosi of Galeshewe I without success.”

It states that Galeshewe was deposed by the colonial government and imprisoned for taking part in the Langeberg Rebellion.

“As punishment for (participation in) the rebellion, the native reserve was confiscated by the colonial government.

“The native reserve was then declared a forest reserve. But Phokwane was turned into an irrigation scheme connected to the Harts River, where farms were allocated to returning soldiers from World War II.”

Kgosi Ponatshego is the daughter of Kgosi Isaac Mothibi, while Kgosi Obakeng is the son of Kgosi Okaeng Mothibi, who passed away in January 2011.

Kgosi Ponatshego, as regent, promised to return the dignity of her tribe and restore them to their place in history during her tenure of three years.

“I have three years to turn things around for our tribe, which is why I stopped my career to concentrate full-time on this task,” said Kgosi Ponatshego.

The tribe members were generally in a happy mood as they sang and danced throughout the day of the inauguration.

“We are so happy, our villages are great, we have produced leaders in Kimberley, well-known sportsmen such as Andrew and Gift Kelehe, who are champions of the Comrades Marathon,” said a happy Kelebogile Mpolokeng, who came all the way from Modutung in Magogong.

Lucky Moleko said he hoped the new Kgosi Mothibi and his aunt would hasten the work of the late Kgosi Mothibi in ensuring that they were correctly placed in the Northern Cape as is part of their legacy and land.

Traditional dancers and a police band made the day a joyous one.

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