Our History

We trace our history back to the year 1140. Kgosi Sekete III, who ruled in the early 1700s, was the first in the line of kings, of which Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the 15th direct descendant. Sekete III was followed by kings Diale, Ramorwa, Sekete IV, and Thethe. Then came arguably the most influential king in Bafokeng history: Kgosi Mokgatle, who reigned from 1834 to 1891. Pooling community resources, he started buying land the Bafokeng had occupied for centuries. Mokgatle died 33 years before the large deposits of platinum group metals were discovered under Bafokeng land, but his actions enabled us to lease their mineral rights and eventually to claim royalties, which have been invested to establish a competent administration, civil service and infrastructure.

Today, Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the monarch. He is the 36th King of the Bafokeng and the 15th direct descendent of the lineage of the Bafokeng kings.

The patrilineal succession of the Bafokeng Monarchs have been traced back for over 35 rulers.

Below is a list of the recent Kings and the periods of their reigns
Kgosi Mokgatle - 1834–1891
Kgosi Tumagole - 1891–1896
Kgosi Molotlegi - 1897–1938
Kgosi Manotshe Molotlegi - 1938–1956
Kgosi Lebone Edward Molotlegi - 1956–1995
Kgosi Mollwane Molotlegi - 1995–2000
Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi - 2000 – to date

A brief history of mining in Bafokeng

The mining of diamonds in South African started in the 1860s. Thousands of fortune seekers from around the world flocked to Cape Town, the capital of the British-governed Cape colony, before undertaking the 1500 km trek north of the arid western and Northern Cape to the mining town of Big Rush (today’s Kimberly).

In the 1920s, geologist Hans Merensky discovered in the Rustenburg valley the surface outcrop of a large ore body, known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex. In particular, substantial reserves of Platinum Group Metals such as platinum, ferrochrome, rhodium and palladium were discovered in this complex, some of which were under Bafokeng land.

Over the next 70 years, various attempts were made by the governments of the day, aided and assisted by the major mining companies, to dispossess RBN of our land rights. All were ultimately unsuccessful and the mining companies eventually began paying royalties to the RBN in exchange for the right to mine on RBN land. Most of this has since been converted to minor share ownership in mining ventures.

© 2012 Royal Bafokeng Nation. Created by Thinkshoppe.