Kaone Lobelo

Title Politician and Political Activist
Other Names
Date of Birth 1958-05-05
Date of Death 2016-11-26
Kaone Lobelo
Born in Veertien, Taung. His parents had settled in Taung, having migrated from Majeng in the early 1950s. His father was at the time Principal of Batlhaping Tribal School in Taung. In 1961, his father was promoted to School Inspector and transferred to Mafikeng, and Kaone moved there with his parents. In Mafikeng, he attended Lomanyaneng, Stadt and Memorial Primary Schools up to Standard 3. For Standards 4 to 6, he went to schools in Taung and Pampierstad. He moved back to Mafikeng where he did Forms 1 to 5 at Barolong High School. In October 1976, following the political turmoil that swept across most institutions of learning, he and nine other pupils from both Batswana and Barolong High Schools, both in Mafikeng, clandestinely walked out of South Africa to Botswana. They were all promptly arrested and thrown into Lobatse Prison.
On release, they joined the ANC and were flown to Angola in late December 1976. In January 1977, Kaone was part of a group sent to the then German Democratic Republic for 6 months military training. On his return, he was on incursions into Bophuthatswana for reconnaissance and establishing military bases. In 1979, he moved to Selebi-Pikwe, Botswana, for joint operations with the Zimbabwe People's Liberation Army (ZIPRA) and to plan future incursions from Zimbabwe into South Africa. In 1980, he was part of a group deported to Zambia. In 1981-1983, he worked for the ANC's Department of Information and Publicity (DIP) in Maputo, but subsequently moved to Lesotho. While in Maseru in 1985, he narrowly avoided being caught up in the South African army's murderous raid which killed a number of ANC cadres in the city. When the pro-South African Major-General Lekanya took over Lesotho, Lobelo and many other ANC cadres were deported to Zambia where he rejoined the DIP.
In the period 1986-1987 Lobelo went on a year's political science course in East Germany. Back in Lusaka, he married a Zambian woman in June 1988 and immediately left for Botswana from where, continuously up to 1991, he would go on military operations in the northern areas of South Africa and was concurrently responsible for the infiltration of military cadres into the country. In 1991, he was back in Lusaka in the Department of International Affairs in the office of the ANC's Chief Representative. Lobelo's work included liaising with donor countries and agencies and embassies.
He finally returned to South Africa in June 1994 and was elected Chair of the Reconstruction and Development Programme forum and the Housing Committee in Taung. In April 1995, he was appointed Co-Chairperson (with de Jager) of the Stellaland Regional Services Council and remained in that position till the elections of November 1995 when he was elected Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Stellaland Regional Services Committee. In 2000, with the new system of local government which was created, Lobelo became Executive Mayor, a position he still holds (2009). Lobelo also holds a few other positons: Chair of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) for North-West; alternate Chair of SETA and Chair of the Geographical Names Committee for North-West. Lobelo died on 26 November 2016 in a car accident when he lost control of the bakkie he was driving, which overturned on the road between Reivilo and Taung. At the time of his death, he was 58 and Mayor of the Greater Taung Local Municipality.

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

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