Join CLS for a lunchtime seminar titled ‘Crossing national boundaries? Traditional leadership and mineral wealth amongst the Bakgatla baKgafela’ on 3 June.
RURAL WOMEN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT (RWAR)
LUNCH TIME SEMINAR SERIES
Crossing national boundaries? Traditional leadership and mineral wealth amongst the Bakgatla baKgafela
The Bakgatla BaKgafela people straddle Botswana and South Africa. In South Africa, they are located in a platinum-rich area in the North West province. In Botswana they are centred around the town of Mochudi. Despite their platinum rich land, the South African community’s 32 villages remain underdeveloped. For several years, community members have complained and protested about lack of transparency in relation to Chief Nyalala Pilane’s control over mining operations to his own benefit. The legitimacy of Pilane’s chieftainship has long been in dispute, but has been bolstered by the support provided from the Kgafela paramountcy in Botswana. Over recent years significant funds have flowed from Moruleng in South Africa to the Mochudi paramountcy in Botswana. Last year the Botswana paramount, Kgafela Kgafela relocated to South Africa, having been charged with abuse of power against his tribesmen in Botswana. He and chief Nyalala Pilane have now fallen out, exposing financial dealings that were previously shrouded in secrecy.
In this seminar, Dr. Aninka Claassens will discuss the South African legal and political regime that has protected Nyalala Pilane in his financial dealings, and enabled him to interdict protesting community members from holding him to account. Ntibinyane Ntibinyane, Botswana Guardian and Sun group investigations editor will discuss the very different fate that has befallen Kgafela Kgafela in Botswana. The two speakers will reflect on the complex issues that arise at the intersection between ‘traditional’ power relations and vast mineral deposits, as these are further complicated across national boundaries.