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Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Mogopa
Driefontein
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Braklaagte
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Mogopa
Driefontein
Braklaagte

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1902
Ngema Family acquired their land from the Boer before 1902.
1907
Braklaagte farm bought by BhahurutsebaSebogodi Tribe in 1907 before the 1913 Land act, during the time when it was still illegal for black people to buy land in the white community.
1909
TRAC (Transvaal Rural Action Committee) records state that 60 men donated cattle to raise money to buy land in the Amersfoort district (farm Driefontein).
1912
Dr Pixley ka Seme urged people to sell their cattle to buy farms prior to the 1913 Land Act.
1912
First title deeds issued to Ncube & Vilakazi family.
1912
Farms situated in the Ventersdorp area. This farm just like Braklaagte and Driefontein was also bought by the ancestors of Dispossessed Mogopa in 1912, 1931 respectively. The land was bought just before the 1913 land act was put in place.
19 June 1913
LANDACT LEGISLATION LAND ACT LEGISTLATION IMPLEMENTED 1913 Land Act restricted black people from buying land.
19 June 1913
LANDACT LEGISLATION LAND ACT LEGISTLATION IMPLEMENTED 1913 Land Act restricted black people from buying land.
19 June 1913
LANDACT LEGISLATION LAND ACT LEGISTLATION IMPLEMENTED 1913 Land Act restricted black people from buying land.
1934
Mrs Trusty Manama , one of the eldest residents is born. She is interviewed in 1994.
1940
Marks the first time the Braklaagte community was first threatened with forced removal. They successfully avoided it, but a headman of 40 families from neighboring villages were forcibly removed by the Apartheid government ,as to get rid of the African population residents in that Area. This happened in the early 1940s.
1940
There was only one shop nearby, which entailed crossing the land of a white farmer. This farmer made a step ladder over the fence and if you didn’t cross there he would shoot next to you and make you stand still until he picked you up and dropped you far on the road to Amerfoort. This happened in the early 1940s.
1946
There was a school in Driefontein but it had only one class. This school was also used for community meetings.
1950
The Native farmers Association in Braklaagte divided the land and sold it to individuals and by 1985 it had 250 plot owners.
1957
John Sebogodi‘s wife, Maria was one of the women who led the protest against women moving with passes. They refused to carry passes as some of them were beaten up and locked up in jails. (detentions).
1958
Again Braklaagte resisted to forced removal under Chief John Sebogodi then later on Chief John Sebogodi was arrested.
1960
Tshegofatso of Braklaagte (Interviewee) recalls a time when men of the villagers stopped ploughing and moved into town to go work in the mines hoping to make more money.
1960
People worked in the nearby forests cutting 8 foot poles for which they were paid 2c per pole.
1960
Again while the Braklaagte men were still in the city in Johannesburg they joined ANC (African National Congress).
1963
When Mrs. B Manama arrived in Driefontein there was no food, no houses no shops, no transport to town. People kept cattle which they used for ploughing. With more and more people coming, there was no space on the land for grazing. Also adjacent farmers planted trees which used up grazing land.
1965
During this time there were already plans for forced removal targeting black communities which settled at Driefontein.
1969
Men were elected to patrol at night, to protect everyone. This continued till 1972.
1971
Government officials painted numbers on people’s doors, which was an ominous precursor of an intended removal.
1972
Farmers evicted farm workers in large numbers. These people were given a place in Driefontein.
1974
Both landlords and tenants were jailed if there wasn’t a house number on their door. A Pietersburg (?) magistrate set up a temporary office to examine title deeds, and to collect details of land ownership and family members.
1976
When Bophuthatswana became independent, all Tswana people then lost their South African citizenship. Braklaagte and Leewufontein remained owned by the Bahurutse community. They resisted being part of Bophuthatswana.
1976
First high school, built by the community not the government.
1978
Police check dompas, buses stopped in town looking for pass book, police regularly check homes for strangers.
1979
The first Driefontein killing occurred when a Ndlovu was gunned down.
1980
In the early 1980s it was investigated and planned that Marico should be added into homelands and that white farmers in that land should be bought out.
1980
A tornado brought floods, roofs including the hospital (?clinic) roof were blown off, as well as the opening up of graves.
1980
Early 80s in Magopa two schools were built, numerous shops, a reservoir, clinic and a thriving agriculture sector.
1981
A letter dated October 31 was sent to Saul Mkhize by Dr.P. Koornhof (Minister of Co-operations & Development) stating that the South African Parliament had concluded its decision on the resettlement and that they wouldn’t revisit their decision.
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October 1981
The government decided to remove the Mogopa people in the interest of grand apartheid working with Jacob Moore.
October 1981
Officials of the department of Co-operation and Development announced that Moore had agreed to the removal on behalf of the tribe. The Mogopa people reject this plan.
1982
Severe drought meant that cattle died and there was no food.
1982
The government painted more numbers, this time on gravestones. The total crassness of this action caused outrage in Driefontein and evoked sympathy for the community further afield. In an interview with Saul Mkhize, which was published in the New York Times, he was quoted saying: ‘When we bury our dead we expert them as all other people do, to rest in peace…. We paid for our land and we wish to keep it’
1983
The cattle post Mosweu, with its residents, was incorporated into Bophuthatswana.
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1983
Further threats of forced removal: Buses arrived to remove people-those who wanted to move got on, while others refused.
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1983
Beauty Mkhize is elected as the successor of Saul Mkhize.
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1983
Legal Clinic established.
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02 April 1983
Saul Mkhize is shot dead at Qalani primary school after he was told not to conduct a community meeting.
16 April 1983
Saul Mkhize’s funeral held at Driefontein. Attended by members of various organisations from Johannesburg.
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10 May 1983
Black Sash gives advice and support to pensioners.
19 June 1983
The Departments truck arrived to begin removal and ten families left with Jacob Moore.
November 1983
All night vigil prior to expected removal.
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December 1983
Some people choosing to leave, images from Pachsdraai.
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February 1984
Removal to Pachsdraai then some move to Bethaine(home of Paramount Chief).
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14 February 1984
14 February marked the final removal which was done at gunpoint.
March 1984
Owners and tenants separated, some in Bethanie some in Barseba and Modikwe, issue around water, schools etc.
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March 1984
Trial of Constable Nienaber in Volksrust. He is the policeman who killed Saul Mkhize. Members of the community and Samuel Yende (the Government appointed chief) attend the trial.
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10 May 1984
Community meeting held at Mkhize homestead.
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October 1984
Meeting at Bethanie with Paramount Chief. TRAC Black Slash members, Dr W Kinster (SACC) and Peter (Soal, MP PEP) were present.
02 October 1984
COSAS members from Tembisa hold meetings with Driefontein youth in Mkhize homestead.
September 1985
The borders of particular state extension amendment bill was published, providing extra land into the independence of Bantustans.
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21 September 1985
The new Medical Clinic,which was built with donated funds, is opened. Enos Mabusa, President of Kangwane attends.
1986
Another Act passed giving right to Black people living outside homelands. For instance the community took a decision to have their South African citizen restored.
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1986
Braklaagte learnt of a decision taken by the State to in co-operate the community into the homeland of Bophuthatswana. (Land deal negotiated between South African government and residents of Bophuthatswana).
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1986
Community meeting to discuss the crisis of the decision made by the South African government and President of Bophuthatswana on their behalf. And 3000 community members signed and requested a meeting.
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1987
Heyshope dam built, graves and people moved and given compensation.
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September 1987
People from Modikwe were move to Ondestepoort.
1988
The government issued a proclamation officially incorporating Braklaagte into Bophuthutswana as they found themselves at the mercy of President Mangope regime.
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December 1988
Some men back at Mogopa to look after the ancestral graves.
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1989
Over Easter 1989, school children were beaten for stating that they were South African citizens.
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January 1989
Meeting with TRAC, RWM at Mogopa (women now present too).
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February 1989
Meeting with Mogopa elders, TRAC, Black Sash, Dr Kistner at Onderstepoort.
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10 March 1989
Under acting Chief Pupsey, Braklaagte challenged the incorporation in court but lost the case. eg when the pupils and youth were arrested by Bophuthatswana authorities.
22 March 1989
A large contingent of Bophutswane police and personnel entered Braklaagte and set up a police camp in the village. Children schooling at Zeerust were on their way from school as they were stopped at roadblocks and asked if they supported Bophuthatswana or if they were under South Africa.
23 March 1989
65 Braklaagte residents appeared in the Lehurutse magistrate’s court. Chief PupseySeboogodi was the first to be accused. The rest of the people are charged with public violence, arson and malicious injury to property.23 people-those under the age of 18years and women and children were released on free bail while the rest appeared on 03-04-89.
27 March 1989
For the second time the community attorneys’ tried to see their clients and by this time they had a list of 100 names of arrested people.
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April 1989
Court case in Pretoria lawyer (Fink Haysom).
June 1989
All schools were closed in Braklaagte.
July 1989
Police violently suppressed a meeting between Braklaagte and Leeufontein communities and 11 people were killed in the subsequent fighting.
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July 1989
Bophuthatswana has maintained a continuous police and army presence in the village since incorporation which has contributed to high levels of tension.
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July 1989
A state of emergency existed in Bophuthatswana until March 1991, granting powers to the police to order persons from particular places; to detain without trial; to enter, search and seize without warrant; and to ban persons and organizations. The Indemnities Act of 1989 indemnifies members of the security forces from criminal or civil proceedings for unlawful acts done in good faith in the suppression of riot or disorder.
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13 July 1989
TRAC was told that SAP had raided houses in the Zeerust township during the night looking for Leeufontein and Braklaagte.
14 July 1989
Pupsey Sebogodi, Braklaagte Chief appears in Lehurutse court. He is alleged to have contravened his bail conditions and state applying for bail to be reinstated.
October 1989
Court case is won and the community was jubilant.
January 1990
Meeting at Mogopa with TRAC.
23 May 1990
Funeral of Themba Dlamini.
August 1990
Some community members at Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal with Mam Lydia, Aninka Claasens, Fink Haysom.
November 1990
Life Continues at Mogopa.
December 1990
The ANC was unbanned but the violence continued in the community, Further ANC branch was launched in Braklaagte and violence intensified.On the day following the launching, police fired teargas randomly in the streets of Braklaagte and confiscated ANC membership cards, instigating the fighting between government supporters and anti Bophuthatswana factions that continued throughout January 1991.
December 1990
People from Onderstepoort rebuild Mogopa again, Pantechnicon arrives with furniture etc.
January 1991
Residents fled the area and have taken shelter at various churches in the neighboring town of Zeerust.
January 1991
The Anglican Church, the Methodist Church and township residents were providing shelter for 1500 men, women and children. The following week the number grew to more than 5000 refugees. The resident Lutheran Minister at Braklaagte said that he had heard numerous shootings and seen heavy police mobilization and scenes of conflict during that week. When lawyers from the firm of Cheadle, Thompsom and Haysom visited the deserted Braklaagte village, the only movement they saw on the roads was that of Bophuthatswana police hippos and police vans. They recorded their impressions in a memorandum: “They also saw a tractor pulling a long flat bed trailer in which were at least 30 young men armed with sticks and clubs. The young passenger with them claimed that these were vigilantes and on seeing them they requested that they take him out of the area as soon as possible. They watched this tractor drive straight into the police camp.”
03 January 1991
Vigilantes tried to set fire to the house of the chairman of the local ANC interim committee, Henry Saku.
04 January 1991
Anti government faction torched four houses of government supporters.
05 January 1991
Police raided the village, arresting and assaulting people randomly. Two ANC supporters were killed and more than 50 people were injured. Residents alleged that police took them to the police camp and assaulted them there before either releasing them or taking them to Motswedi police station. The incident followed clashes between the Braklaagte community and a vigilante group, calling themselves "Inkatha," led by the unpopular chief of the nearby Welverdiend village, Mr Gilbert Moiloa. According to Chief Pupsey Sebogodi, chairperson of the Anti Bophuthatswana Coordinating Committee and respected by the community as its leader and spokesperson, the vigilantes were colluding with the homeland police to eradicate opposition to Mangope's regime.
07 January 1991
Pro government vigilantes torched the houses of two ANC supporters.
08 January 1991
Two residents died in a confrontation between members of the community and the police.
February 1991
Celebrating the reopening of the new school in Mogopa.
08 March 1991
Vigilantes abducted and subsequently killed Mangole Saku, a villager from Mosweu near Braklaagte, who was travelling on a bus from Johannesburg. Bophuthatswana police have claimed that he died of bullet wounds, but his body, found in a mortuary at Lehurutse, had been mutilated.
08 March 1991
Police have on occasion used torture. The following accounts come from statements, taken by lawyers working with TRAC: Police took one village woman into an empty room with black curtains, wherein nine men entered. They pushed her across the floor and when she fell on the ground, they kicked her in the waist, kidneys and buttocks. Later they brought a chair into the room and told her to "hide" under the chair, which she was unable to do. They continued kicking her in the buttocks and in the waist. They ordered her to do push ups with her fists on the floor, and when she got tired, they kicked her in the abdomen. They ordered her to do frog jumps and later made her spread her hands on the floor and beat her fingers with an iron bar. Finally they made her stand up and then beat her on the toes. She received no medical attention. Police slapped a male resident in the face when he denied their accusations against him. They then told him to lie down and whipped him on his back with a belt. One policeman then stood on his back and stamped with both feet, while others put a dustbin over his head and demanded that he agree with their accusations. He refused. They slapped him in the face, beat him on the chest, and punched him on one eye. He remained in prison for seven days without medical attention. On the seventh day police summoned him and again told to admit to the accusations. When he refused they beat him on his back with a sjambok. He was later released on bail.
May 1991
The community lost, on technical grounds, an appeal challenging the validity of its incorporation.The government responded to numerous protests from the community with a letter stating that the decision to incorporate Braklaagte had been made in 1984, confirmed in 1985 and could not be "rescinded or renegotiated." Currently, a large police camp, consisting of 8-10 tents and at least 50 policemen, occupies the village.
July 1991
After a six-month exile, residents returned to Braklaagte. Social conditions have not improved, except that the Bophuthatswana government has agreed to reopen the school. The elderly people are still not receiving pensions. South African pension laws regard them as residents of a foreign country and ineligible for benefits as they have been living "outside" South Africa for longer than six months. Bophuthatswana, on the other hand, argues that they are South Africans since they rejected Bophuthatswana identity documents in protest against incorporation and excludes them from receiving pensions from the homeland.
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July 1991
The clinic in Braklaagte, built by the community without government assistance, is currently occupied by police. According to Elsie Matsusi: “The Bophuthatswana government told us [the Braklaagte community] that they will give us the clinic back, because they have been using it as a barrack. The police were sleeping in the clinic, and we wanted those medicines to help our people. We came home [to Braklaagte] because we wanted that clinic. In our village there are no doctors, and there was no clinic, [and until we built this one] there was only the mobile clinic from Bop, once a month... and our people don't only get sick once a month, they get sick every day, so we must continue to build the clinic and it must start to work. But until now, the Bophuthatswana government has not given back the clinic.”
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July 1991
Fear and continued police presence make freedom of expression virtually non existent. Elsie Matsusi added: “I think they [the police] can harass the people, and we are scared so if we hold a meeting we go to Zeerust, even the ANC meetings. The police are still here in the village. They have not said when they will leave.” After winning their case they returned to Braklaagte.
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July 1991
Marked the third year that the children of Braklaagte were not able to attend school, that teachers were not paid and that the elderly did not receive pensions. At least six people died and 15 houses were destroyed by vigilante attacks in January 1991 in June, vigilantes killed a two year old child and injured five adults.
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December 1992
Braklaagte needed more land.
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July 1993
Voter Education Workshop run by members of the RWM (Rural Women’s Movement) and Black Sash.
August 1993
Mogopa speaks with the Department of Agriculture reps.
December 1993
Mogopa conducts Voter Education workshop with RWM and Black Slash.
1994
VOTE
1994
VOTE
1994
VOTE
1995
More water points established in Driefontein. Additional homes are being built and others repaired.
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August 1995
Bread making project by women in Mogopa.
August 1995
Attempt to buy alternative land (TRAC, SACC) thwarted by Apartheid government.
August 1995
Diamond mines at Mogopa – then and now.
August 1995
In Mogopa TRAC did an overview profile of the community as part of a Land and Agricultural Policy Centre (LACP) district case study.
August 1995
The government reprieve Driefontein and people were happy.
October 1995
In Braklaagte more water points are built and repaired.
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1996
Braklaagte got electricity.
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