baFOKENG (Tribal Nation)

TITLE: Kgosi AREA: 200 km2
STATE: South Africa RELIGION: Christian
PRESENT RULER: Kgosi LERUO TSHEKEDI MOLOTLEGI, 36th King of the baFokeng since 2000.
Kgosi LERUO TSHEKEDI MOLOTLEGIborn 1968, educated at Hilton College, Natal and Natal University (degree in Architecture and Urban Planning), coronated 16th August 2003 in Phokeng, a former member of the Implats Board, the world’s second largest platinum producer, a Director of the Royal Bafokeng Resources (RBR), a wholly owned Bafokeng company, and President of the Mineral Rights Association of Indigenous People of South Africa. He is a fixed wing and rotorcraft pilot and holds an honourary position with the South African Air Force.
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: Founded about 1200. Rulers were...
  • Kgosi SEKETE III, Chief of the baFokeng fl.1700, married and had issue.
    • Kgosi Diale a Sekete (qv)
  • Kgosi DIALE, Chief of the baFokeng, fl.1750, married and had issue.
    • Kgosi Ramorwa a Diale (qv)
  • Kgosi RAMORWA, Chief of the baFokeng, married and had issue.
    • Kgosi Sekete IV a Ramorwa (qv)
    • (Kgosi?) Mmutle a Ramorewa
  • Kgosi SEKETE IV, Chief of the baFokeng fl.1790, married and had issue.
    • Kgosi Thethe a Sekete (qv)
    • (Kgosi?) Noge a Sekete
  • Kgosi THETHE, Chief of the baFokeng
  • Kgosi AUGUST MOKGATLE, Chief of the baFokeng 1834/1891, died 1891.
  • Kgosi TUMAGOLE, Chief of the baFokeng 1891/1896
  • Kgosi MOLOTLEGI, Chief of the baFokeng 1897/1938
  • Kgosi MANOTSHE, Chief of the baFokeng 1938/1956, born about 1900, married and had issue. He died 1956.
    • Kgosi Edward Patrick Lebone Molotlegi I (qv)
    • Kgosi George Molotlegi, born 1936, married Teresa (Molotlegi). He died 1997.
  • Kgosi Edward Patrick LEBONE MOLOTLEGI I, Chief of the baFokeng 1956/1995, born 28th November 1928, married 1963, Semane Bonolo [Mohumagadi Semane], born in Botswana, and had issue, as well as further issue. He died 17th November 1995 and was buried 26th November at Legato Kraal, Phokeng near Rustenberg.
    • Kgosi Mollwane Boikanyo Lebone Molotlegi II (qv)
    • Prince Fosi Boemo Molotlegi, born 1966, died sp on 18th April 1999 in Johannesburg, and was buried 1st May 1999 in Phokeng.
    • Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi (qv)
    • Prince Bothata Molotlegi
    • Princess Motswana Molotlegi
    • Princess Tirelo Molotlegi
    • Ms. Lerato W. Makenna
    • Ms. Vivian
  • Kgosi Mollwane Boikanyo LEBONE MOLOTLEGI II, Chief of the baFokeng 1995/2000, born 1965, Graduate of Howard University in 1991, died sp on 29th March 2000 in Johannesburg, and was buried 8th April 2000 in Phokeng.
  • Kgosi LERUO TSHEKEDI MOLOTLEGI, Chief of the baFokeng (see above)
  • Kgosi Mmokanelo Serobatse of the baFokeng bagaMatlatla, uncle of Kgosi Leruo.
  • Chief Glad Mokgatle 1905-1990, had issue.
    • Aaron Mokgatle, born c1942.
    • Charles Mokgatle
  • Naboth Monyandioe
                    Moreleba Mokgatle (1911-1985)Naboth Monyandioe Moreleba Mokgatle, born 1st April 1911,  was the eighth and youngest child of Setlhare Hebron Mokgatle, a skilled builder and carpenter, and Salome Mororo-Mokgatle. His grandfather was Mokgatle Mokgatle (Sekete) the paramount Chief of the Bakwena tribe of Mmanape of Tshukudu in Phokeng, Rustenburg. Mokgatle's grandmother, Matlhodi Paulina Kekana-Mokgatle, was the daughter of Chief Kekana of the Potgietersrust area of the former Northern Transvaal (Northern Province). Mokgatle started his primary education in 1925 at the Phokeng Preparatory School, run by the Pentecostal Holiness Church of the Reverend K. Spooner. However, his age and the need for a living wage, among other things, forced him to end his formal schooling in 1929. In 1930 Mokgatle moved to Pretoria, where he devoted much of his life to political and labour struggles. His initiation into protest politics took place towards the end of 1930 when he joined the campaign to burn the hated pass books that the law required all black people to carry on them. As a member of the Matopo Hills soccer team he was further drawn into politics in sport, especially in 1931 when the Scottish team Motherwell toured South Africa and played only against white teams. Mokgatle's keen interest in reading inspired him to enrol at a number of night schools in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Some of these were run by members of the South African Communist Party and gave him the opportunity to learn more about communism and trade unionism. His political and trade union activism was given impetus when he joined the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA). He was elected to the Pretoria district committee of the CPSA in 1941, which further stimulated his activities in these areas. The period between 1943 and 1954 was his most fruitful and saw his greatest contributions to trade union and political organisations in South Africa. He collaborated with other trade unionists and activists, leading to the formation of many unions in Pretoria. He became full-time General Secretary of the Non-European Distributive Workers' Union in 1943. He served on the executive committee of the Transvaal Council of Non-European Trade Unions and became the secretary of its Pretoria branch during the 1940s. In the late 1940's, he formed and led the Dairy Workers' Union and the highly successful African General Workers' Union. Mokgatle was highly critical of the cosmetic reforms of the 'liberal' government of J.C. Smuts and of the ANC's moderate approach to successive white governments. He took strong exception to the operation of the Natives' Representative Council. He and S.S. Tefu turned the Pretoria Market into a political arena where a series of political meetings were held and fierce political speeches delivered. When the government of Dr D.F. Malan passed the Suppression of Communism Act in 1950, Mokgatle's 'political home' was destroyed as the CPSA disbanded. Mokgatle's various organized labour and political activities brought him into headlong contact with state repression. Between 1930 and 1954 he was arrested and imprisoned on countless occasions. His union's offices in Pretoria and his homes in Marabastad, lady Selbourne and Atteridgeville were frequently searched and many documents seized. His overseas mail was intercepted and confiscated. The banning orders placed on him in 1952 and 1954 by Minister of Justice, Education, Arts and Science, C.R. Swart, effectively denied him any form of existence in South Africa. Mokgatle therefore left South Africa on September 1954 with a self-written affidavit in his passport. He ultimately made Catford (London) his home, aided by the Africa Bureau of Reverends M. Scott and M. Benson. Later his family joined him in exile. In 1956 his Atteridgeville home in South Africa was ransacked during the events that led to the infamous Treason Trial. Mokgatle began writing The autobiography of an unknown South African in 1961. Mokgatle married Nana Tlhogo in 1941. They had one daughter, Keitumetse Thabo, and a son, Matshidiso Ernest. Mokgatle died in March 1985 owing to illness. His son brought his cremated remains back to South Africa where they were scattered in three places, Phokeng, Atteridgeville and Church Square in Pretoria. Prepared by T.J. Makhura, lecturer, Department of History, Vista University (Sebokeng Campus). The new dictionary of South Africa biography Volume 2, Vista University, Pretoria, 1999.