Ikalafeng Ikalafeng

Title Kgosi (Chief)
Other Names
Date of Birth 1850-00-00
Date of Death 1893-00-00

Updated 14 Oct 2016


Born c. 1850.  Died 1893.

 Ikalafeng was the grandson of Mioloa II , the baHurutshe kgosi who died in 1877. He took control of the Moiloa faction of the chiefdom based at Dinokana, after a schism in the community following Moiloa's death.
In 1881 Ikalafeng entered into an alliance with the Tshidi-baRolong of Montshiwa, based in Mafikeng. Montshiwa at this time was involved in a prolonged conflict with elements of the South African Republic (SAR), over ownership of land between Montshiwa's capital and the western border of the SAR. Ikalafeng, along with a number of other baTswana communities entered into the alliance in support of the baRolong. He dispatched a regiment of men under his uncle, Mosimanegape to join Montshiwa's forces.

Ikalafeng probably saw no danger in this move as the British had temporarily (as it turned out) annexed the Transvaal, and Montshiwa was known to be supportive of the British presence in the region. Unfortunately for Ikalafeng, the British withdrew and war with the Tshidi-baRolong was resumed. As a resident of the SAR, Ikalafeng's behaviour was seen as a form of treachery and officials of the SAR were determined on a course of punishment. In February 1882 a commando under the command of General P. Joubert was sent against Ikalafeng. When Ikalafeng received information that a commando was being assembled he hurried to see the President of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger, to try and gain his intrevention . On his return to Donokana he was arrested and was thrown into gaol for a few days.  

The Bahurutshe did not offer any military resistance to the commando.  Stone fortifications which had been erected around the town  were pulled down and later re-erected rather paradoxically as a "monument to peace". This "pile of stones" still stands in the village of Dinokana and is regarded as a symbol of resistance to the Boers.  The commando fined Ikalafeng £18,000 which sum being unaffordable the baHurutshe were stripped of of 7,000 head of cattle and 4000 sheep and goats-in value more than the original fine, and comprising close to a quarter of all their livestock.  
 The chiefdom was hard hit economically and many were reported to be starving the following year. Ikalafeng remained antagonistic to the government and was summoned to Pretoria the next year to answer charges of tax evasion. Thereafter Ikalafeng attempted to avoid further trouble with the government.   
(See also baHurutshe, Montshiwa)         

South Africa's North-West province: A Guide to its History and Heritage. © 2017

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