The same suffering under the democratic government as in the Colonial Era
The Makholokoe are tired of being taken for granted, a nation of 3 million in South Africa spread largely around Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga, tells a chilling story of suffering the same fate in the hands of the democratic government as they did during the colonial era of the British and Dutch administration. Makholokoe is still being denied the recognition of their Kingship, language, and land that was taken away from them and never given back even after purchasing it back from the colonial government.
The nation of Makholokoe which is as old as all the other Bakgatla origin groups of South Africa born of the great King Tabane that gave birth to Bapedi and the Vele dynasty of Vha-Venda amongst others, yet the struggle for the recognition of their Kingship, Language and reinstatement of their 500 000 hectares land bought with over 9000 cows still continues. The Makholokoe has a very rich documented history that shows them as a resilient nation that fought battles against, Ndebeles of Mzilikazi, aMazizi, Nhlapos, Boers, Koranas, Basotho and others, the Makholokoe are said in the history books to have remained independent, practicing their customs and speaking their own languages when other groups came together during the formation of Basotho.
Their fighting spirit saw them together with Batlokoa becoming the first of the South African tribes to travel to London fighting for their
land even before the Land Act of 1913, the Makholokoe traveled with their secretary JT Gumede who later became one of the founders of
the ANC after their return from England. “Even though the deputation had nothing to do with Basotho it was recorded as the “Basuto Chiefs
deputation to London” and many other important events of Makholokoe are recorded as Basotho events in an attempt to
forcefully merge Makholokoe under Basotho who had an understanding with the British” said: Kgosi Matholela Moloi (Paramount Chief of Makgolokwe –a-Mafehleng).
An area of Eastern Free State today called Phuthaditjhaba/ Qwaqwa was called Wetzieshoek after a Makholokoe Paramount Chief Wetsi who fought many wars and against the Boers in 1956 in the area. It is said that Makholokoe was forced out from the area in the early 1900 and the area given to Bakoena by the then government. During the Tolo commission, the Makholokoe was only recognized for a senior traditional leader in Free State and later another senior traditional leader in Mpumalanga after being told that there is no evidence of them being an independent nation that had its own Kingship. In this commission, they were classified as Basotho even with clear historical evidence that they are not and never have been Basotho.
Where to now? Kgosi Matholela Moloi had very strong words to say: Well, we are engaging government to find a solution but so far we are not seeing any willingness or urgency on the part of the government to resolve any of our issues and we are getting to a point where we will be left with no choice but to mobilize in every way possible. We have been understanding for too long and as a result, they have forgotten our role
in the formation of the ANC, we have always been in the forefront of the resistance against discrimination and we will not take it even if it’s from those that look like us.
Makholokoe are Bakgatla from King Tabane, the Kingship comes from the Royal houses of Mokete and Matsemela. Today we have the Makholokoe from Wetsi (Free State, Nquthu, Wetzieshoek, Daggakraal), Makholokoe from Tsuisi (Wetzieshoek, Harrismith, Vrede), Makholokoe of Mokete (Bethlehem, Wetsiezhoek, Lesotho) and Makgolokwe-a-Mafehleng (Gauteng, NW and Limpopo).