Bakgatla suspend their chief

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela royal house in North West has suspended its controversial head, Kgosi Nyalala Molefe John Pilane, from the chieftainship.

The decision was taken at a tribal lekgotla in Moruleng, Saulspoort, on Saturday, which was attended by chiefs from the six houses that constitute the royal house.

The meeting was held at Lesetlheng village outside Moruleng.

Speaking on behalf of the chiefs, Kgosi Segale Pilane said Nyalala was suspended because he conducted the tribe's affairs as his own, failed to consult other chiefs on serious matters, enriched himself using the tribe's assets, and because of the current theft, fraud and corruption charges he is facing.

"We cannot allow the chief to drag our name in the mud and we do not want to see him appearing in court bearing the tag of the chieftaincy," said Segale.

Nyalala, who said last week that he would attend the chiefs' meeting, was nowhere to be seen and Sowetan could not reach him for comment.

Segale said the chiefs would forward their decision to the office of North West Premier Edna Molewa this week.

"He will remain suspended until the outcome of his case, which is set down for March 31 and April 1 in the Mogwase regional court," said Segale.

Nyalala, who is facing a total of 46 charges, including two of defrauding the Land Bank of R27million, one of corruption and 43 of theft, is charged with his counsellor, Koos Shimane Motshegwa, who is accused of stealing R100000 from the tribe.

Both have pleaded not guilty and are out on R2000 bail each.