Royal Bafokeng Nation

Royal Bafokeng Nation

Royal Bafokeng Nation

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The Royal Bafokeng Nation is the ethnic homeland of the Bafokeng people, a Setswana-speaking traditional community. The monarchy covers 1400 square kilometers (540 square miles) in the North West Province of South Africa. The administrative capital is Phokeng, near Rustenburg. "Bafokeng" is used to refer to both the tribal grouping as well as the land its members inhabit. The kingdom's current ruler is King Leruo Molotlegi, who has reigned since 2000.

The nation has gained greater attention recently owing to its Royal Bafokeng Stadium, where six of the FIFA 2010 World Cup games were played, and the Bafokeng Sports Campus, where they hosted the England football team during the World Cup.


The Bafokeng ('People of the dew', or 'People of the grass') comprise roughly 300,000 people. Oral tradition suggests that when they settled in the Rustenburg valley, it captured heavy overnight dew, holding the promise that the land would be fertile and hence that the community would prosper. They struggled to buy the land, repelling invaders and imperialists as they did so. They have had the extraordinary good fortune to see the discovery on their land of the world's largest deposits of platinum group metals. And they have wisely invested royalties and dividends from mining companies on their land to establish their own civic administration and social services.

About 160,000 Bafokeng live in an area some 150 km North West of Johannesburg, South Africa, with...
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