Evolution and thought on lobola

The principle of lobola (by whatever name it is called in different African languages)has been adhered to and practiced over the years and for generations across various cultures in Africa. However, like with other cultures, the situation today is that the emerging economic factors due largely to the influence of colonialism, have also over the years influenced these principle and practices.

Traditionally lobola was in terms of animals and property but has recently only taken the form of money because of the modern economy. Phillip Iya a Professor of African and Comparative Law at North West University (NWU) argues that the monetary system has now spoilt almost every aspect of the African cultural principle and practices of lobola because of the economic system.

“Modern life does not take into account the values of the African culture. It is a misinterpretation, misdirection of the African culture”, argues Prof  Iya, who refutes the misnomer that lobola is a business transaction or a bride price as considered by many writers and the general society. “Traditionally, lobola is not a business transaction. It is evidence of an appreciation, a way to say “thank you” and the best approach to understanding it to consider that it is really the appreciation of the handing over of the bride’s reproductive system, for perpetuation of the bridegroom’s family”.

While the latest South African statistics on marriage indicate that less people are getting married and there is more divorce than in the past, the question on everyone`s mind is whether  lobola is still relevant today or in the future of South Africa specifically and Africa in general. This is because today most people believe that the payment of lobola aids people`s perception of associating love with monetary value.

“My personal view is that lobola will still be practiced in the future particularly because of what we are doing now as IKS centre”, says Iya who further argues that since the South African Government has introduced the IKS Policy of 2004 which is an official recognition of the importance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems aimed at protecting, promoting and managing  knowledge of African values, this will promote, develop and bring people to understand more about our indigenous knowledge and indigenous values. “The more people begin to understand these values the more they will come to value our culture”, he says. Moreover, the South African Constitution makes a similar provision in sections 30 and 31

Created 13 March 2018

Updated 03 March 2020


Tactics for less hassle in the kitchen

Have you ever wondered why it takes one person half a day to prepare a meal while it takes only an hour for another to prepare the exact meal? Chef Andrew Manoto shares with us tips for less stress and saving time in the kitchen.

Currently a chef lecturer at Hotel School Mafikeng, Manoto attributes planning, being organised, preparation and keeping a clean working station as essential strategies for spending less time in the kitchen. “Know what you are going to cook, so that you can defrost your food on time. Peel your vegetables in advance so that they are ready in the morning”. “Know your kitchen very well, where you put everything. In the industry we use the term clean as you go. Meaning that every time you must clean as you work”, he says. Undoubtedly, most of us consider these as minor details but they can make a big difference if implemented.

The chef enlightens us that when you start cooking, particularly stew, there is no moisture, so it is important to cover the pot. However, when you realise that the stew is cooked and there is still excess water inside, you should simmer the stew, leaving an open lid in order to reduce the moisture. He swears that following this process will improve the quality of the taste while also thickening the stew. Letting the rabbit out of the hat, he asserts that “not allowing the moisture to escape is the reason why most pots burn at the bottom”.

The passionate chef dismisses the perception that cooking on maximum heat makes the food cook faster, as high heat hardens the food. He advises that it is better to simmer the food or cook on moderate heat even for stubborn dishes such as tribe.

Manoto who has over eighteen years of experience in the industry also shares few hygiene practices. He cautions against defrosting food outside of the refrigerator. “When you defrost in the sink or water you are losing nutrients and lowering the quality of the food”. “You might also develop food borne diseases, reason being that the food temperature will drop. It is very risky to expose food to room temperature for prolonged hours”, explains the chef. He suggests that the correct way of defrosting is to take food from the freezer and put in the fridge for the required time.

Written: 05 February 2018 Updated: 21 February 2020


Precautionary counsel on cohabitation

Lately, more and more people are choosing cohabitation over marriage. Various reasons can account to this, such as financial constraints, to test for compatibility, fear of marriage in case it ends in divorce, while some simply do not believe in marriage. How many cohabitees have actually paused, to think of what will happen if the other partner dies?

There are speculations that if you live with a partner for a prolonged period and share children, you are entitled to part of his assets upon death. That is not according to the South African law, there is no default marriage. This implies that in the absence of a will, biological family of the deceased have a right over his assets and can evict the surviving partner from the house.

“One of the most common major protection measures that can be implemented is to do a will, whereby you can leave some of your assets to your partner upon death”, says a law expert Eric Morweng.

“There is a principle of universal partnership agreement. In this partnership agreement, both partners can contribute to the relationship. This way even without marriage they can equally benefit at the end of the relationship, depending on the terms and conditions of their partnership agreement”, says Morweng. He strongly recommends that when cohabitees find that the relationship is going well, that is the best time to start thinking about the future.

A News24 article by Bridget Siebert enlightens that universal partnership affords cohabitees to claim a share of assets acquired during the period of living together. However, being in a universal partnership does not mean that the parties involved enjoy automatic rights. When one of the partners dies without leaving a will the surviving partner does not automatically become the beneficiary. The surviving partner must prove to the court that he/she was indeed in this relationship and thus owed something.

In one scenario you find that a sister has also been contributing towards the renovations of the house and is not prepared to be kicked out without a fight. Currently the director of a Mafikeng based law firm Morweng Attorneys, Eric Morweng advices that in such instances the sister can approach the court to interdict them for kicking her out. He shares that this is not an easy process, as it can take time and can be very costly. Morweng says that in such an instance the person laying the claim has to produce visible evidence which proves that she has been paying some of the items of the house.

Written: 17 February 2018, Updated: 21 February 2020


Restless atmosphere during commencement of NW SOPA 2018

It was under a moist weather on 23 February at Marikana, Rustenburg where the crowd waited in anticipation for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to deliver the State of the Province Address (SOPA). The entourage sauntered down the red carpet under a soft drizzle whereby the national anthem was ceremonially sang before entering the house.

Mahumapelo`s address began on a rough footing as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members of the provincial legislature (MPL) were ejected from the house after they interposed the premier while he was delivering the SOPA.

EFF MPL Thabo Sehloho interrupted Mahumapelo`s speech, asking whether Mahumapelo would apologise to the people of Marikana on behalf of African National Congress (ANC) for killing of people in Marikana during August 2012. Speaker of the legislature Sussanna Dantjie ruled that Sehloho was out of order. When Mahumapelo continued with the address, the EFF MPLs shouted “order” and were ejected.

Part of Mahumapelo`s address indicated the government`s achievements with regard to the provision of infrastructure in public schools. During a dialogue with the newsmen Mahumapelo indicated that they are not happy that not every matriculant passed. “I have said to the department, this year we are not going to compromise. Every quarter we must release the results. We must not wait for the results next year”, said Mahumapelo. He also revealed that part of this plan includes assessing every learner on a monthly basis and releasing the results quarterly.


Watch Chef Manoto relating tips on how to get more done with less time in the kitchen


Career uncertainty woes haunting tertiary youth

Second year Bachelor of Nursing Science student at the North West University (NWU) Mafikeng, Tsholofelo Semaushu relates her tertiary experience. She too is tormented by the many challenges that plaque our South African youth.

The 21 year old Semaushu who considers herself an average student, passed all her modules last year and says first year was not difficult for her. She recalls how she enjoyed orientation time last year January. “It felt like we are back again at crèche. We played, we really had fun. It was really nice”, she said excitedly. In addition to making new friends, Semaushu sadly admits that securing financial assistance for her studies was the most difficult part of being a first year.

After matric she stayed at home for a year because she did not have money, as she was accepted for a psychology course at NWU. She discloses that nursing was never an option for her. Her dream was to study medicine, psychology being her second option. The physically captivating student says she also has aspirations of being a model but does not know where to start.

Since beginning with her nursing practical this month, Semaushu says that she is not sure if she wants to continue with nursing anymore. “I enjoyed working at the clinic but the hospital is very different. I meet people who are very ill”, she said in low spirit. “I feel pain and want to help them but I can`t. It becomes too much for me. I feel like I can`t anymore”, she added.

The future looks uncertain for Semaushu. She is currently trying to get all the help she can get. Being a highly spiritual person, she says she trusts God that everything will work out in the end. “If it gets too hard, I always pray”, she says.

Chilombo Mbenga who is a communications lecturer and also a final year PhD student at the NWU Mafikeng advices the students not to “sweat the small stuff and take it one day at a time”. She points out that in high school teachers give you a one on one whereas in university it is everyone for themselves.

Mbenga also shares a few coping strategies for the first years. “Proper time management is the most effective tool. We all have 24 hours in a day. What you do with those 24 hours determines your tomorrow”, she says. “Picking the right friends will either make you or break you. Get the right friends that will help you to go through your university career until graduation”, she added.

A 2017 guide co-ordinated by Dr Andre van Zyl who is the director of the Academic Development Centre at the University of Johannesburg quotes research done by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) in 2013, that tracked students in South African universities over a period of five years.

The research showed that the transition that students have to make between school and higher education seems to be particularly problematic. When the data were more closely analysed, it became clear that the first year of study is a time of exceptionally high drop-out rates.


MEC OR MOCHWARE message of condolences

The Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs is deeply saddened and shocked by the passing of Kgosi, Dr Lucas Manyane Mangope who was the leader of the Bahurutshe-Boo Manyane tribe in Motshwedi – North West Province.

We wake up with heavy hearts after receiving the sad news of the passing of Kgosi Manyane Mangope. Kgosi Mangope died on the 18th January 2018 and had just celebrated his 94th Birthday on the 27th of December 2017 in his home in Motswedi Village Lehurutshe.

He was the onetime President of the former Bophuthatswana Homeland and the founder of the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP). Kgosi Manyane Mangope had recently relinquished his duties as the Kgosi of his clan and was succeeded by his son Conel Kwena Mangope.

We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the Mangope family, relatives, friends and the Bahurutshe who have lost an upright leader, a teacher, a great disciplinarian, an astute orator and a politician.

On 13 March 1994, Lucas Mangope was ousted as President of the homeland of Bophuthatswana.  Mangope came to power in Bophuthatswana in 1966 during the reign of former Prime Minister B J Vorster Mangope governed Bophuthatswana from 1977 until 1994.  His reign was characterised by widespread corruption and mismanagement.  Mangope was deposed in 1994 after he refused to allow free campaigning in Bophuthatswana as well as not wanting to take part in the general election that was to be held during that year. In December 1991, like other homeland leaders at the Codesa talks, Mangope attempted to present Bophuthatswana as a semi-independent territory, with the same status as the British protectorates of Swaziland and Lesotho.  This ploy failed to change the view of Bophuthatswana as an Apartheid sham state.  In March 1994, rioting broke out in Bophuthatswana and Mangope called in his erstwhile allies the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging (AWB) to support his regime and thus prevent the homeland from collapsing.  This invasion failed and the South African Government in consultation with the African National Congress (ANC) ousted Mangope as leader of Bophuthatswana.

Additional reporting from the South African History Online (SAHO)


Intervening in a fight as a bystander

In order to help you stay safe this festive season, we talked to Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone who is the head of Corporate Communication and Media Liaison in the SAPS, North West. We conversed about whether bystanders have the right to intervene when they see a fight.

December is the busiest month of the year whereby crime is on the rise. Some of us have witnessed a fight and did not know how or whether to jump in. The SAPS encourages people that if they see that coming between a fight is going to endanger their lives, they should rather call they police instead of stepping in.

Should the scene end in murder, you are actually considered a witness. One of the challenges that the SAPS is encountering is that witnesses don’t usually want to come forward. Most of the time this is because of fear of being implicated. Mokgwabone reminds us that the law recognises everyone`s role in the scene and deals with the aftermath accordingly.

“If you are trying to separate people who are fighting and then someone dies, there is no way we can say you are guilty because you were only trying to assist”, advised Mokgwabone. “Unless if you had a hand in terms of killing the person. For example, maybe in the process you end up taking a firearm and shooting one of these people. Then you will be responsible for this particular incident”, he added.

Sometimes it happens that unintentional murder can occur through this intervening. Mokgwabone enlightens us that at the end of the day, where life is lost, somebody will have to be held responsible. What is going to happen is that a case will be opened for investigation and it will be taken for persecution. They will decide based on the statements or evidence whether they are going to persecute.  Sometimes they will even decide whether you are charged with murder or culpable homicide.

“One can say that we want members of the community to assist us in the fight against crime. We also don’t want them to endanger their lives”, said Mokgwabone. “Whatever they do they must make sure that they do it within the spectrum of the law”, he added.



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Provincial crime statistics for 2016/2017 released

The MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Dr Mokgantshang Motlhabane together with the North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane released the annual North West provincial crime statistics for the 2016/2017 financial year at Tirelo Building, Mahikeng recently.

These statistics reflect on the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. “With today’s release of crime statistics, we believe that the police will use it to plan properly to ensure that we reduce crime, particularly 17 community reported crimes as set out in the Annual Operational Plan”, said MEC Dr Mokgantshang Motlhabane.

“In essence, the statistics could also be used as early warning to strengthen crime prevention operations and various other strategies meant to ensure that people are and feel safe”, he continued.

When addressing the media, MEC Motlhabane disclosed that they have embarked on a program that is interacting directly with the community as a new approach to curb stock theft. Stock theft is one of the crimes which have shown an increase during the 2016/2017 financial year. Through partnerships, one of their initiatives is to encourage the community to take proper care of their animals and also to mark them.

MEC also highlighted that the commission has made it a point to develop a team that will deal with cases regarding stock theft in areas where the prevalence of these cases is very high. Local units will not be used to do investigations in this regard.

MEC Motlhabane strongly reprimanded lawlessness. “We will never allow a situation of lawlessness in our country. Irrespective of how aggrieved you are, you can`t take the law into your own hands”, he said. “This is a constitutional democracy. We are going to follow legal processes to deal with your dissatisfaction or any illegal processes you have encountered as a citizen. We need to encourage law abiding to all the citizens”, he elaborated.

The provincial crime statistics deal with 21 serious crimes recorded by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and are made up of:

  • 17 community-reported serious crimes
  • Four crimes detected as a result of police action.

The 17 community-reported crimes are grouped into four broad categories, namely contact crime, contact-related crime, property-related crime and other serious crime.

Contact crime as one of the four broad categories of community-reported crimes increased by 0.7 % in the 2016/2017 financial year. Contact-related crimes include arson and malicious damage to property. Contact-related crime as a category of community-reported crimes decreased by 0.2% in the 2016/2017 financial year. Property-related crime as a category of community-reported crimes increased by 6.5 % during the 2016/2017 financial year.

Other serious crime includes all serious crimes not mentioned in the other categories:

  • All theft not mentioned elsewhere
  • Commercial crime
  • Shoplifting.

Other serious crime as a category of community-reported crimes decreased by 6.0% in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Crimes detected as a result of police action are usually not reported to the police but largely detected as a result of the deployment of law enforcement personnel and the use of intelligence.  The crimes are usually recorded after the apprehension of suspects in connection with:

  • The illegal possession of firearms and ammunition
  • Drug-related crime
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Sexual offences detected as a result of police action.

A decrease of 0.1% in crimes detected as a result of police action was recorded in 2016/2017.

Although broad categories constituting 17 community reported crimes show an increase, there are individual crimes which have shown a decrease, amongst which are: Assault GBH -6.5%, Murder-0.7%, Arson -7.6%, Theft General -6.4%, Commercial Crime-7.1% and Shoplifting -0.5%.

To get detailed statistics log on to the SAPS’s website