The mountainous village of Mamone, Ga-Sekwati on the outskirts of Polokwane in Limpopo, was a hive of activity on Saturday, 25 January 2020, as royalty, government leaders and imminent persons from various walks of life gathered to celebrate and honour the life of slain Kgoshikgolo Mampuru II, and remember his immense contribution in the struggle against colonialism.
The aptly dubbed “Kgoši Mampuru Day” is an annual commemorative event that is held to honour the memory of Kgosi Mampuru II who was hanged in public by the colonial powers on 22 November 1883. This revered King of the Bapedi nation paid the ultimate price for his unflinching stance against colonial domination and his refusal to recognize and submit to the repressive Republican Government of the time.
This African doyen met his cruel demise 137 years ago at the former Pretoria Central Prison, after defying an order by the then regime to pay an imposed hut tax. The name and brave leadership of Kgoshikgolo Mampuru II ranks high and will remain permanently etched in the annals of history as one of South Africa’s greatest freedom fighters.
The South African government renamed the Pretoria Central Prison after Kgoshikgolo Mampuru II on 10 April 2013 as a gesture of recognition of the heroic and unblemished contribution he made in the course of freedom. Deputy Minister, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa acclaimed Kgoshikgolo Mampuru II as a colossal figure who will continue to inspire future generations of leaders. Nkosi Holomisa assured the royal family that government will not rest until the mortal remains of Kgoshikgolo Mampuru are found. Prince Seraki Mampuru conveyed the family’s wish for the government to erect a statue of Kgoshikgolo Mampuru II alongside that of his chief-nemesis, Paul Kruger at the Church Square in Pretoria as a symbol of honour and to accord him his deserved place in the history of the struggle for the liberation of people of African descent.
Adorned in his royal attire, Kgoshikgolo Billy Mampuru III (Bauba a Ngwato) thanked the government and all guests who came from all corners of the country and beyond the borders to celebrate and honour the life of Kgoshikgolo Mampuru II. The King handed certificates as a token of appreciation to various guests, including the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa.
Other royalty and imminent persons who graced the occasion included representatives of King Mabhoko III, Inkosi Enkulu Jongilanga Sigcau of the Pondoland, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL), Ikosi Sipho Mahlangu, King Mzilikazi II from Zimbabwe, Honorary President of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa and Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa, Deputy Minister of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Obed Bapela, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, as well as various Members of the Executive Council in Limpopo.