Brief Perspective of the Historical Status
of the Royal Family

In terms of section 1. (1) of the Framework Act the term “Royal Family” means the core customary institution or structure consisting of immediate relatives of the royal family within a traditional community who have been identified in terms of customs and includes where applicable other family members who are close relatives of the ruling family”. It remains a fact that for the past forty (40) years the Royal Family has been disorganised and illegally constituted, at the same time mired by chieftainship disputes and claims. This included disputes between clans, each claiming to be senior in hierarchy than the other. This fundamentally led to poor and almost non-existent leadership of the 40, 000 strong community of the Bapo Ba Mogale by the traditional family.

Current Status of the Royal Family

The first significant effort to reconstitute and reconcile the Royal Family was commissioned by the then Honourable MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs in the Northwest. The Honourable MEC facilitated a retreat for the family which took place from the 11th to 13th of February 2011 at Zebula Estate and Spa in the Bela Bela area. Although the retreat was a success, there remained conflicts and instability within the family post the retreat. In 2011 another process of intervention to resolve the issue was commissioned by the then administrator Mr Thabo Lerefolo through an Anthropological research conducted by Professor, Dr, Adv Freddie Samuelson Khunou. The result of his outstanding work came in the form of a research report titled: "The Path of Legitimation Patterns of the Royal Family of the Bapo Ba Mogale Traditional Community: Setting the Record Straight". (click on link to download full Report) The report came with expert and intellectual recommendations.

Key recommendations implemented are:

  1. Restructuring of the institution of the Royal Family in accordance with the dictates of the Traditional Leadership and Framework Act 41 of 2003 (“Framework Act”) and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Act of 2005 (“Provincial Legislature”)
  2. In the spirit of peace and reconciliation a structure be established duly known as the Bapo Ba Mogale General Royal Council (herein referred to as the “GRC”)
  3. Establishment of a strong, capable and professional Office of the Kgosi in line with the Customs and Tradition of Bapo Ba Mogale
  4. Formulation and adoption of a Royal Family “Constitution” in line with Traditional laws and customs

The above recommendation were facilitated and implemented by an advisory company appointed by the Kgosi and Royal Family called Nthontho Business Solution. Today the Office of Kgosi and the General Royal Council are in full operation. A Traditional Council has also been constituted and published in the gazette. The latter then led to coporitization in the form of an investment company called Bapo Ba Mogale Investment NPC. Read more on the company and it developmental plans on this website.

As the saying goes: “The rest is history”.

Sources and 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 Dr Adv Freddie Samuelson Khunou

Terms of Reference of the General Royal Council (“GRC”)

  1. To clearly define roles and functions of the Office of the Kgosi in line with Traditions and Customs and applicable laws.
  2. To protect, advise and support Kgosi in his duties as senior traditional leader of the community and Bogosi
  3. To do oversight and monitoring of community affairs and administration in line with the Act of Traditional Leadership and Governance Act of 2005
  4. To facilitate policy formulation for the Office of Kgosi and enforce implementation
  5. To research, update and advise on the issues of heritage, culture, customs and traditions of the Bapo community
  6. To update and maintain the royal family tree in line with the family’s genealogical seniority
  7. To identify the successor to the position of the traditional leadership in terms of the customary rule of succession.
  8. To be the link between the Office of the Kgosi and Government and other relevant stakeholders
  9. To put in place proper system for community participation in decision making processes of the Traditional Council
  10. To monitor compliance with the provisions of the Northwest Traditional Leadership and Governance Act of 2005 as amended including other relevant laws of the country.
  11. To work with the provincial government in the for the expedition of the holding of elections of the Traditional Council
  12. To oversee all matters regarding land, land audits and land claims with the focus on all farms historically owned by the Bapo community
  13. To preserve and protect heritage and cultural sites of bogosi and the community (Graveyards: Dikgosi’s graveyards – Kgosi Maruatona etc., Historical sites like Tlhogokgolo, Gotsube le Thotho, Setlhare sa Modutwane, Koppie in Wonderkop – Marikana)

To discipline and mediate in the family issues and seek external mediation and advise in line with applicable laws and traditions and customs of the Bapo.