The Inaugration of Kgosi Solly Rammereki Mekgwe of Baphiring of Luka

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It was a historic day for many of the Baphiring community of Luka village, Phokeng, Rustenburg, to have witnessed the once in a life time inauguration of their Kgosi, Solly Rammereki Mekgwe. The ceremony, which coincided with the South African Human rights Day was graced by the presence of Kgosi Mabalane of Mabaalstadt, Kgosi Matlapeng of Molatedi and Kgosi Sefanyetso of Moubana, started at around 10am with a prayer and the hoisting of the Baphiring flag.

Lucas Mekgwe, in introducing guests, explained that Baphiring are an ancient community which was led by a chief when they arrived in the Phokeng-Rustenburg area. That the community actually settled near the present day Impala Platinum mine’s minerals processing plant, they were in fact on their way back home to their brothers and sisters who are now settled near Koster. Their journey was cut short by Paul Kruger who wanted to use them for slave labour in his fields.

Kgosi Mabalane thanked Baphiring for their continued quest for stronger ties with the Baphiring of Mabaalstadt and acknowledged the birth seniority of Baphiring of Luka.

Rakgadi wa Kgosi Mekgwe, Mme Basetsana Monaledi also gave a heartening speech on her undying love and respect for Baphiring. She pleaded and urged the community to love their incumbent Kgosi, and to open their hearts for him when he pays them well wishing visits at their homes. She said the spread of beauty can only be possible when there is love at home.

On behalf of the Rustenburg Local Municipality, Member of the Mayoral Committee, Councillor Olga Chauke promised to urge the powers that be, to declare the grave of Reverend Morrison, the American priest who established the AME church in Luka, and who is buried in the local graveyard (Lotia-Phiring) next to Kgosi ya Baphiring, Kgosi Ramotse Stuurman Mekgwe, as a heritage site.

The inauguration ritual involved the handing of a spear and a shield to the incumbent Kgosi by his rangwane (younger brother to Kgosi’s father). Symbolically, Kgosi would use the spear to attack community enemies and to defend the community using the shield.

In his acceptance speech, Kgosi Mekgwe promised to have an open door policy, and to consult with the community Council on all matters concerning his administration. He thanked the presence of Magosi and wished for stronger working relations amongst them going forward. Kgosi Mekgwe reiterated his commitment towards the community’s restitution claim for its ancestral land which includes Doornspruit 106JQ, Turfontein 262 JQ, Doornspruit 84JQ. Kgosi invited all 17 dikgosana of Kgotla-Kgolo ya Phiring to work together, and promised to launch a challenge that they be enrolled for service allowance (salaries) when serving as headmen. In conclusion, Kgosi wished for peace and rain.

Bame Mokgatlhe, thanked Baphiring for the gracious ceremony, and promised to urge his family, Kgotla ya Kgosing to support Baphiring in their quest for justice and land restitution. He said that there was enough for everyone in the Bafokeng to benefit from the Bafokeng wealth, and that it was improper for Kgosi to rule by himself without consulting with his family and the land buyers. He gave an analogy that when a three feet pot sagged on one leg under the heat of fire, it would eventually fall and all its wealth spilled for no one enjoy. He said that Bafokeng Kgosi and Kgosi Mekgwe himself, as heads of their constituencies, could not rule without the neck (Kgotla ya Kgosing/community council) and the body (being the communities at large).

In closing the ceremony, the former acting mayor of the Rustenburg Local Municipality, Mr. Phistus Sebedi Mekgoe, thanked all for coming, and urged the attendants to clap their hands for the conspicuous absence of the Bafokeng tribal Council who were invited to the ceremony, but never bothered to send an apology for their non-attendance.
The community clapped! The brass band rendered a national anthem, and the ceremony dispersed for festivities.

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