BaPedi Royal Family, BaPedi Kingdom, South Africa

Who are the BaPedi

BaPedi or Pedi tribe of Marota are a bantu sotho tswana ethnic group found in Limpompo, Gauteng and Northern Mpumalnga provinces in South Africa. They speak the Sepedi language which is one of the 12 official languages in South Africa. BaPedi are known for their dancing steps often seen at traditional events. They have been organized into a Kingdom known as the Bapedi kingdom or Marota empire since 1700s. The royal house is Morateng based at Maebe Tjate or Great place, Mohlaletse Village, Sekhukhune District Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Photos; Bapedi Sepedi

Sekhukhune royal line is descended from King Sekhukhune I who reigned 1862- 1882 and was assasinated by his brother Mampuru. He is known for defeating other tribes in war. This is the recognised main royal line of the kingdom according to South african Government

Mampuru royal line is descended from Kgoshi Mampuru II who assasinated his brother King Sekhukhune in 1882 and was tried and hanged in 1883. Mampuru has been described as one of South Africa’s first liberation icons and annually he is celebrated, though his burial place is still unlocated

BaPedi Royal titles

  • King – Kgoshikgolo
  • Queen Mother – Mma Kgoshi
  • Queen – Kgoshigadi, also used by queen regents
    • Queen when married as a Candle wife” or “great wife – Timamollo
    • Seantlo – sister of Timamollo married as a substitute to bear heirs if Timamollo is unable or dies childless
  • Prince – Kgoshana
  • Princess – Kgoshatana
  • Chief – Kgoshi
  • Subchief – Tona
    • (Special Acknowledgement to General Bauba)

Kings of BaPedi

  • Kgoshikgolo Thobela – Founder of BaPedi
  • Kgoshikgolo Thulare – reigned 1780–1820
  • Kgoshikgolo Malekutu I – reigned 1820 – 1822
  • Kgoshikgolo Phetedi I – reigned 1822
  • Kgosikgolo Sekwati – reigned 1822 – 1861
  • Kgoshikgolo Sekhukhune I – reigned 1861 – 1882 (assasinated by his brother Mampuru II)
    • Kgoshi Mampuru II – reigned briefly before he was hanged
  • Kgoshikgolo Morwamoche II
    • Regent uncle Kgoloko – reigned on behalf of young Sekhukhune II
  • Kgoshikgolo Sekhukhune II -died 1942
  • Kgoshikgolo Thulare II – was heir but died in 1941 before his father. His brother Morwamoche raised seed for him with Mankopodi
  • Kgoshikgolo Morwamoche III – reigned 1942 – 1965. Younger brother of Thulare II, raised seed for late brother Thulare II with his seantlo Mankopodi. He died in 1965
    • Regent Queen mother Mankopodi – reigned from 1965 to 1975 on behalf of young Rhyane
  • Kgoshikgolo Sekhukhune III Rhyane Thulare – succeeded in 1965 under regency, installed in 1992 due to succession wrangles within the royal family and reigned up to 2007
    • acting King brother Kgoshi Kgagudi Kennedy Sekhukhune – acting 1976-2020. installed by faction of the royals after they removed Mankopodi
  • Kgoshikgolo Victor Thulare III – reigned 2020-2021
    • Regent Queen Mother Manyaku Thulare – reign 2021 –

Sekhukhune Royal Family of Whole BaPedi Kingdom

King (Kgoshikgolo) Sekhukhune I

Sekhukhune was born Matsebe and was later nicknamed Sekhukhune. He succeeded his father Sekwati in 1862 reigning until his assasination in 1882. Sekhukhune was stabbed to death at the Great Place, Manoge, on 13 August 1882 by his brother Mampuru II orders. He was the first modern photographed King of Bapedi. He had an empire in the land between the Vaal & Limpopo rivers. He defeated the Boers & British in several battles between 1876 – 1879. It was only when the British used Swazi troops to attack Sekhukhune from behind that he was defeated.

Photos Courtsey Wikipedia

King (Kgoshikgolo) Sekhukhune II

He was the Son of King Morwamoche II but succeeded at a young age thus his uncle Kgoloko served as his regent until he was of age. His heir Thulare II died before him in 1941 thus his other son Morwamoche III took over. His grandson was Sekhukhune III Rhyane Thulare

Photos; Courtesy

King (Kgoshikgolo) Sekhukhune III Rhyane Thulare

He was the son of Kgoshi Thulare II who died in 1941 before his father Sekhukhune II. Thulare II and died before having heirs, his brother Morwamoche III became King and provided seed for late Thulare with Mankopodi who was a seantlo/substitute sister wife to Lekgolane. Thus Rhyane Thulare was born. He was named heir in 1964. His mother Queen mother Mankopodi reigned as regent from 1965 to 1975 on behalf of young Rhyane. Later in 1975 there were throne wrangles after some royals removed Mankopodi and installed Rhyanes brother Kenneth Kgagudi as acting King. King Sekhukhune Rhyane Thulare never renounced his throne and thus was still king until his death in 2007, in 1992 he was offcially installed as King. He had four wives

  • 1st Queen regent Manyaku Thulare – He officially married his Timamollo/royal candle wife Manyaku Thulare in 1992 but had delivered a bull in anticipation of marriage in 1972.
    • King Victor Thulare III
  • 2nd Queen Mante
    • Phetodi
  • 3rd Queen Makgalake
    • Morwamoche
    • Tswaledi
    • Kgao
  • 4th Queen Patricia

Queen Regent Mother Manyaku Hlapogadi Thulare

Queen mother regent Manyaku Hlapogadi Thulare currently serves as the Regent to the BaPedi throne since 2021. She was the royal candle wife/Timamollo of King Sekhukhune III Rhyane Thulare whom she married in 1992 but had delivered a bull in anticipation of marriage in 1972. She is the mother of King Victor Thulare III and older sons Collins Mutodi, Oupa Phathudi. See more – Link

King (Kgoshikgolo) Victor Thulare III

King Victor Thulare III was the son of late King Rhyane Thulare Sekhuhune III who died in 2007 and queen mother Manyaku Thulare. He had been King for only 8 months since march 2020 before he passed away due to covid19 complications on Wednesday January 2021. See Funeral Link – Funeral of King Thulare III

BaPedi late King Victor Thulare III sekhukhune was married to two wives namely;

  • 1st Queen Phindile Ntombifuthi Thulare
    • 2 boys
  • 2nd Queen Zimkhitha Swartbooi Thulare
    • 2 boys and 1 girl

Since none of his two wives was a candle wife/royal wife, none of his children can inherit the throne, th royal family intends to find a candle wife to sire the heir to the throne in the late king’s name.

Photos; Courtesy, Royal Bopedi

Kgoshi Kgagudi Kennedy Sekhukhune

Kgoshi Kgagudi Kenneth Sekhukhune , former acting King of BaPedi from 1976 to 2020. He was the uncle of late King Victor Thulare III of BaPedi kingdom, South Africa and brother of late King Rhyne Thulare of BaPedi.In 2020 his reign ended when his nephew king Victor Thulare III was declared and recognsied as the rightful king of all BaPedi kingdom, South Africa. He married Makopi before he became regent and later a royal candle wife/timamollo from Mphahlele royal family. They had three children inclusing Prince Sekwati KK Sekhukhune

Photos; Courtesy

Maebe Tjate III Royal Palace

Maebe Tjate or Great place is the royal compound of the BaPedi kingdom King and royal family. Maebe Tjate is located at Mohlaletse Village, Bapedi Kingdom, Sekhukhune District Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Photo; Royal Bopedi

Mampuru Mamone Royal Family of Bapedi ba Mamone traditional authority

Mampuru royal family is a branch of the main Sekhukhune Royal family through one of the brother Kgosi Mampuru II who killed his brother King Sekhukhune. The Mampuru royal house have always contested for the throne of BaPedi. Today they rule the Mamone traditional area and are addressed as Paramount chiefs

  • Kgoshi Mampuru II – H e was the son of King Sekwati and brother to King Sekhukhune I. He was arrested for murdering his brother King Sekhukhune I and opposition to the hut tax imposed upon black people by the South African Republic. Kgosi Mampuru was hanged in public at the Pretoria Central Prison on 22 November 1883. His burial location is still unknown but every january South Africa commemorates Kgoshi Mampuru II day. In his honour the provincial government has named the prison and street passing next to it after him
  • Kgoshi Billy Sekwane Mampuru III – He was crowned in 1999 after his mother had reigned as regent. His mother and queen mother Manyaku Thulare are biological sisters. He passed on two days after the death of his cousin King Victor Thulare III in 2021. His son succeeded him. See more – Link
  • Kgoshi Malekutu Tshegofatso Mampuru IV – He succeeded his late father in 2021. In 2023 he married Lekgolane Leshego Ntwampe as his candle wife/Timamollo. She is cousin of the late King victor Thulare from BaPedi royal family in Mohlaletse

©Barbara Oomen, Storyline


Under Bapedi kingdom are many chiefs who reign over various traditional councils

  • Kgoshi of Madibong in Makhuduthamaga, Limpopo – they are the descendants of Kgoshi Thulare who died in 1824. They broke away from Bapedi ba Maroteng following the assassination of Sekhukhune I by his brother Mampuru. They moved to Masehleng, and ultimately settled at Madibong in 1900 where they established themselves as fully-fledged traditional community. Late Kgoshi was Kgoshi Ardilles Kgoloko III Morwamoche (died 2017) after suceeding his father Kgoshi Kgoloko Walter Morwamoche (died 2014)
  • more to be added


Nhlapo Commission report on kingships

Special acknowledgement to Bapedi royals

General Bapedi public

© The African Royal Families. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Leave a Reply

Up ↑

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: