ConCourt allows Bakgatla succession

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court upheld an appeal on Thursday by a group that desires secession from the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela traditional community in the North West.

The members of the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela appealed against three interdicts granted against them by the North West High Court.

A full bench of judges sits at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg. Picture: Shayne Robinson. Credit: INLSA

The issue at hand was whether members of the traditional community were correctly interdicted from convening meetings under certain auspices and acting in a manner contrary to applicable statutory and customary law.

The group sought to convene a KgothaKgothe (a traditional gathering) to discuss the proposed secession.

Nyalala John Molefe Pilane, the kgosi (senior traditional leader) of the traditional community, and the community's traditional council, applied to the high court for urgent relief.

The high court granted seven interdicts against the group. On appeal it confirmed three of the seven interdicts.

It restrained the group from organising or proceeding with any meeting purporting to represent the traditional community or Motlhabe tribal authority, without proper authorisation from the kgosi or council.

In a majority judgment, the Constitutional Court upheld the group's appeal and set aside all three interdicts.

The court emphasised the inherent value of allowing dissenting voices to be heard in a constitutional democracy. - Sapa