The Bakgatla ba ga Motsha under the native policy of the Transvaal, 1852–1910
Rankhumise, Sello Patrick
MetadataShow full item record
This study focuses on the Bakgatla ba ga Motsha, a part of a much larger composite group, namely the Bakgatla, who are found both in South Africa and Botswana. The ba ga Motsha as the morafe traces its origins from the Bahurutshe, are today found in the Groot Marico District of North West in South Africa. As a result of the difaqane one of the sons of Kgosi Mohurutshe, Mokgatla, temporarily fled Groot Marico with his supporters, leading to the establishment of the Bakgatla as an offshoot of the Bahurutshe. In the post-difaqane period, the Bakgatla underwent fission, which led to the creation of various Bakgatla sub-groups, including the ba ga Motsha, the ba ga Kgafela, the ba ga Mosetlha and the ba ga Mmakau. The ba ga Mmanaana subsequently emerged as a breakaway group from the ba ga Kgafela. During the early 1850s, the ba ga Motsha moved from Groot Marico to central Transvaal near the present-day Pretoria. Harsh treatment of ba ga Motsha labourers and discontent over access to and ownership of land at the hands of the Boers in Pretoria (as explained below) later led to their relocation to Tshuaneng (1856) and Schildpadfontein (1873) in the Hammanskraal sub-district of the Transvaal, where the morafe encountered missionary activities of the Berlin Missionary Society (BMS). A section of the morafe remained in Tshuaneng under Saul Maubane as kgosana, while the larger part resettled with the kgosi at Schildpadfontein, in the present-day local municipality of Dr J. S. Moroka in the Mpumalanga Province. After resettling in Schildpadfontein, the morafe faced challenges regarding tlhomagano ya bogosi (chiefly succession) which, in 1904, led to a shift of the bogosi (chieftainship) from the kgosi’s principal marriage to the third. Controversies around the resolution of the dispute over bogosi led to the establishment of the ‘Moepis’ as the ruling family at Schildpadfontein. When the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, the ba ga Motsha, just like other African merafe in South Africa, remained among the marginalised subjects of the whites.
- Humanities