The spokesperson for Bakgatlaparamount chief, VictorModimakwane has saidthat Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafela’scase against South African lawyer,Wycliffe Mothuloe has proved theindependence of South Africancourts. Modimakwane said in an interviewwith The Gazette over theweekend that, “for the High Courtto have ruled in favour of us, thatWycliffe Mothuloe must accountto Kgafela and Bakgatla for theR49million he received as paymentfrom Bakgatla shows the independenceof our courts. It shows thatwe should have trust in our courtshere,” said Modimakwane.According to Modimakwane, hehad thought that the court would beinfl uenced by the fact that Mothuloeis a friend to president JacobZuma.
“Mothuloe was an instructingattorney in Zuma’s rape case.But this case has proved that ourlaw doesn’t look at how infl uentialone is, be it politically or whateverway,” he said, adding that Mothuloealso had close links with the lawsociety of Northern Province.Modimakwane also noted thatthe verdict was also a victory to thetribe and also a sign of commitmentfor Kgafela. He said Kgafela was aman of his word. The spokespersonfelt pity for Kgafela saying all thistime Kgafela’s uncle, Nyalala Pilane,who has been their Kgosi andwho is also Mothuloe’s legal clienthad always built a strange relationshipbetween morafe and Kgafela.He said every time they requestedfor the audit of the morafe trustaccount, “Pilane would tell us thatKgafela has all the monies with himin Botswana and he would on theother side tell Kgafela that we wantto take over Bogosi.”
Kgafela won his fi rst case beforethe South African High Courtagainst the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafelalawyer in Moruleng last week. Inthe case, Kgafela had earlier thisyear dragged Mothuloe before theNorth Gauteng High Court (Pretoria)to account for the R49m that hewas paid from the morafe trust accountas legal services.Mothuloe had opposed the application,contending that Kgafela didnot have a good standing in law tomake him account for the money,arguing that Kgafela was a foreignerand did not have a South Africanidentity card.During the arguments, Mothuloelater discovered that Kgafela hasSouth African citizenship. He thenconceded that indeed Kgafela hasthe right to make him account forthe money in question.
It was then that High Court JusticeDavid Stephanus Fourie madeit an order that, “Mothuloe mustaccount to Kgafela and Bakgatlafor the R49m he received as paymentfrom Bakgatla. The sheriff ishereby ordered to close Mothuloe’strust account.” He ordered Mothuloeto account within 30 days.Things took a nasty turn afterKgafela decision to relocate toMoruleng to look after the tribe’sassets. There have been allegationsof corruption and misuse of thetribe’s resources by Pilane, Mothuloeand some executives of theMorafe Tribal Authority.Unconfi rmed reports are that theAuditor General made a report thatBakgatla Trust had been last auditedin 2003 and was only auditedthis year at Kgafela’s insistence.It was this audit that realised thatMothuloe had at one point, aboutthree years ago charged BakgatlaR49m which had already been paid.The audit also revealed that thelatter did not itemise his bill interms of legal fees.