The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela Paramount Chief, Kgafela Kgafela II, will face his rivals Kgosi Nyalala Pilane and the North West Province Premier, Thandi Modise before the Mafikeng High Court in May.
Kgafela dragged Modise before the court early last year seeking an order to force her to de-recognise Pilane following allegations of misuse of the tribe’s resources. The case was postponed last October to give the Premier sufficient time to respond to the petition. Provincial Head of Communication and spokesperson in the office of the Premier, Lesiba Kgwele last year told The Gazette that Modise was awaiting the recommendation of an independent commission before she pronounced on the chieftainship of Bakgatla. Last week Kgwele told this publication that they have not yet received the report.
Life has not been kind to Kgafela since his relocation to SA. Just two months ago he opened up in a kgotla meeting in Lesetlheng, SA and told his morafe that he was fighting a tough battle with his uncle, alleging that his uncle was bribing the authorities. Kgafela lamented that he was financially challenged to a point where he sometimes has to resort to begging for money to buy bread for his family.
Kgafela also saw his uncle Kgosi Nyalala get appointed Deputy President of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) in December despite the pending court case he lodged against him concerning his chieftainship. Modise, whom Kgafela is also challenging before the courts for refusal to cancel Nyalala’s chieftainship certificate was also captured celebrating the appointment of Pilane to CONTRALESA as recognition of his invaluable contribution to the tribe.
Kgafela’s spokesperson, Victor Modimakwane at one point accused the Botswana Government of conspiring to get the embattled chief deported. He claimed to be in possession of a letter authored by Modise directing the Home Affairs Department in Rustenburg to investigate whether Kgafela entered S.A through a gazetted point of entry at the time when he fled from Botswana. The move, he alleged, was intended to deport Kgafela back to Botswana so that he does not pursue his court cases.