BaKgatla Kings of Botswana and South Africa

Who are the BaKgatla?

BaKgatla are a Tswana group currently inhabiting parts of southern Africa majorly Botswana and South Africa. Bakgatla in the other side of Zimbabwe are called the kalanga. Chief of Kalanga married his daughter and their daughter was the first rain Queen Modjadji of balobedu tribe South Africa. They are divided into many group each headed by a monarch, a common tradition among the tswana speaking groups whose name tswana means people who could ot hold together. Princes often broke away and formed their own monarchies.

The exact origins of the Bakgatla is that they broke away from Bahurutshe. They broke away under King Malope who had many wives and children. His son, Mokgatlo is believed to be the ancestor of all Bakgatla.
In about 1650, after the death of Kgosi Mogale, the Bakgatla tribe was divided between supporters of his daughter Mosetlha from his great house, and his son Kgafela from his second house. There was a disagreement over who would be the new leader. One faction defied the usual tradition of
male leaders and acknowledged the female, Mosetlha, as their kgosi. Those who supported Kgafela then broke away. They are the direct ancestors of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela.
Today there are five main branches of the Bakgatla, all resident in the central and western areas of the former Transvaal and the southeastern parts of Botswana:

  • BaKgatla-ba-Kgafela (Mochudi, Botswana, and Moruleng, South Africa)
  • BaKgatla-ba-Mmanaana (Moshupa and Thamaga, Botswana)
  • BaKgatla-ba-Mmakau (Brits)
  • BaKgatla-ba-Mosetlha (Pretoria)
  • BaKgatla-ba-Motsha (Pilanesburg)
  • BaKgatla-ba-Mochane

Royal titles

King – Kgosikgolo sometimes simply as Kgosi

Chief – Kgosi

Queen – Kgosikgadi/Mmarona

Queen mother – Mohumagadi/Mofumagadi

BaKgatla ba Kgafela, Mochudi, Botswana and South Africa

BaKgatla ba Kgafela people are a group of BaKgatla found in Botswana and South Africa, divided by a national boundary but connected. Their main base is in Mochudi, Botswana. Their current Kgosikgolo (King or Paramount Chief) is Kgafela Kgafela II. He is the son of late Kgosikgolo Linchwe II who reigned from 1963-2007 and his wife late Mofumagadi Mma Seingwaeng Kathleen Nono Kgafela born Princess Kathleen Nono Motsepe of the BaKgatla ba Mmakau, South Africa. He is married to Mofumagadi Mma Matshego with children. He is considered paramount King of all BaKgatla people.

BaKgatla ba Mmaanana, Thamaga, Botswana

BaKgatla ba Mmaanana are majorly found in Thamaga village, Botswana which is the royal capital. Their late Kgosi was Gobuamang Gobuamang 1947-2021.

BaKgatla ba Mocha /Motsha, Mpumalanga, South Africa

BaKgatla ba Mochane or BaKgatla ba Motsha are a group found in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Their late Kgosi was Kgosi Sello Makgatlho Harris Maloka who passed away in 2018. He famously used his pension to fight for his community land that was taken away to whites

BaKgatla ba Mosetlha, Pretoria

Bakgatla ba Mosetlha community is a tribal community that resides in the Moretele district of the Bojanala Municipality in the Northwest Province with a population of over 400 000 people with the most of them spread over a number province. It comprises of 32 villages which are spread over 120 000 Hectares of Land in the North West and now the also the Limpopo Province the land is underdevelopment and it is mostly used for Agriculture. The villages are presided over by the Bakgatla ba Mosetlha tribal Council, under the leadership of King Kgosi Nchaupe III Makapan. Kgosi Nchaupe III Makapan succeeded his late father Kgosi Tau in 1994 very young but under regency of Kgosi Motshegwa. He offcially took over in 2015 and was crowned officially in 2023.

Visit their offcial site –

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BaKgatla ba Mmakau, Mmakau, South Africa

BaKgatla ba Mmakau are found in Mmakau, South Africa. In 2017, they were embroiled ina succession battle between Patrick Mmakau and Sepokeane Motsepe causing a community protest. The Motsepe family is descended from this royal clan. Father of first lady Tshepo Motsepe, Patrick Motsepe and Bridgette Motsepe Radebe was a former kgosi of this clan.

BaKgatla ba Mochane, Maubanestaad, South Africa

BaKgatla ba Mochane are another group of the BaKgatla people of southern Africa region. They are found in Maubanestaad, North West province, South Africa. Their current Kgosi is Kgosi Phopolo Pontsho Maubane, he was former chairperson of the national house of traditional leaders, South Africa

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