Royal Bapo Ba Mogale History

In the 1800, Kgosi Mogale wa Mogale ruled over the territory that is today known as Mogale City. His territory included Krugersdorp, Kagiso, Munsieville, Magaliesburg, Hekpoort and Tarlton, but his influence went far beyond this, to hartbeespoort, Bapong, Maretlwane, Wonderkop, Brits, Northcliff in Johannesburg and the vaal region. The word Magaliesburg itself is derived from a bastardised version of the name Mogale.

The Batswana of Mogale did not escape the negative effects of the Difaqane wars in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Difaqane means “the times of trouble” The wars were initiated by the Ndebele warrior Mzilikazi who wanted to subjugate other tribes and to secure livestock and large grazing land for his people. Mogale’s Bapo tribe fought alongside the boers against Mzilikazi during the Difaqane.

In 1847 Kgosi Mogale was accused of gunrunning and conniving with Mankopane, sworn enemy of the settlers. He was called to appear before a tribunal, but instead he fled to Thaba-Nchu with few of his subjects.

He later signed a peace agreement with the president of the Transvaal Republic, Marthinus Pretorius. In 1863 the Bapo bought portion of the land at the foot of Wolhuterskop and named it Kgoro ya Badimo (the Place of the ancestors). Mogale ruled his people through councillors, was responsible for and in charge of a village. Two or more households were under the supervision of an elderly man or headman, who in turn reported to the village councillor.  

Each village had a local court, with appeals to the court of the chief. Decisions taken at the chief’s court were binding. The Mogale tribes were the first to smelt iron for agricultural equipment such as ploughs and military equipment such as axes.

They were breeders of cattle sheep and goats. Sorghum was an important crop, and they also cultivated mealies, sugar cane, peanuts and calabashes.

The Sotho-Tswana speaking people, originally arrived in the Witwaterrand-Magaliesburg area more than 500 years ago settling in the Magaliesburg Valley and the surrounding areas, which the current Chief Bob Edward Mogale the descendant of Mogale Mogale today settled in the royal palace built on the edge of the historical mountain and situated opposite the Wolhuterskop (Kgoro ya Badimo). Kgosi Bob Edward Mogale continues on the same system of rule through Dikgosana tsa metsana and Ditlhogo tsa Dikgoro (Supreme Council) and a Traditional Council(pictured on the right) that includes elected community representatives. He further added to it a Corporate Structure to align with modern day systematic approach of governance through an Investment Non- Profit Company.

Reports for further reading:

  1. History of the Batswana by PL Breutz
  2. The Tribes of Rustenburg Pilanesburg District by PL Breutz
  3. The Path of Legitimation Patterns of the Royal Family of the Bapo Ba Mogale Traditional Community: Setting the Record Straight by Prof Khunou

Where is Bapo Ba Mogale

Bapo Ba Mogale (BBM) is situated in the North West Province of South Africa and lies in the south-western part of the Madibeng Loca lMunicipality at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range which is named after King Mogale.

The Bapo Ba Mogale area is one of the approximately 43 villages within the Madibeng and largest owing it’s growth to employment opportunities created by mining located mainly on the south-west side of the area. The area is blessed with minerals mainly rich in Platinum Group Metals (PGM) like platinum and ferrochrome.

The N4 corridor which is the east-west bound road connecting Rustenburg and Pretoria runs to the south of BBM. The R511 south-north bound road connects BBM to the North.

It is also strategically located (Business and tourism route) approximately 100kms from Johannesburg, 53kms from Rustenburg and situated along the Sun City, Pilanesberg Nature Reserve route with the Hartebeespoort dam approximately 15kms away and enjoys pleasant climate conditions suitable for agriculture.

Bapo Ba Mogale has both rural and peri-urban features and comprise of eight villages namely: Segwaelane, Wonderkop, Legalaopeng, Newtown, Skoolplaas, Oustad, Leokeng and Number One, with Bapong as the main village of the BBM.

Greater Bapong is used to describe the six villages comprising the BBM viz: Legalaopeng, Newtown, Skoolplaas, Oustad, Leokeng and Number One.

Bapo Ba Mogale Traditional Council
Front row: Itumeleng (Princess) Mogale, Tebogo Majolo, Michael Molefe, Andrew (Prince) Mogale, E R Mogale (Rangwane), Kgosi Bob Edward Mogale, Monty Mafate, Lethlohonolo Nthontho, Vladimir Mogale.

Second row: Benson Maakane, Moitseki Raleru, Julia Lekalakala, Solly B Mogale, Martin Makwe, E M Magwete, Oupa Mogale,M Modisakeng, M Mogale.

Third row: M Ngobeni, Lebone Molotsane, Modise Mogale, Mable Tshotlang,B A Mogale,Billy Molotsane, Reuben Phiri, Jae Pretoriuos, Jors Mogale, Christina Sekomeng.

Back row: Mojaki Petlele, Lucas Sekhute, Lydia Medupe, Victor Sibanda, Omphile Maake, A Madumo, B Mogale, Dasia Mokomela, Silas Kwapeng, Aubrey Molotsane

BBM Logo Description

Magaliesburg mountain

By the mid-1800s, one of the more important chiefs of the area was named, Mogale (or Mohale), and the mountains became known as Magaliesberg, or Mogale's mountain.[3] "Mogale" means "sharp" or "clever" person, but is also the common word for a warrior or Tswana soldier

Totem elephant

Bapo Ba Mogale’s totem is the “Elephant”. During the wars of the different ethnic tribes and Anglo Boer wars, tribes found bravery and motivation by symbolizing and adopting different strong animal characters. As Batswana our tribe associated themselves with the characteristics of an elephant, which are bravery, strength and relentlessness. Attributes used mostly by soldiers at war.

Mining community

The Bapo Ba Mogale is situated in the area that is rich with platinum group metals known as the “platinum belt”. With vast mineral wealth such as platinum, chrome, iron ore, nickel and so forth, the community is surrounded by mining activities.


In Tswana culture a “shield” is a symbol of protection and safety. Also used as weapon during the wars, the shield is an indication of the community’s protective and fighting ideology.