Thethe IV Thethe IV

Title Kgosi (Chief)
Other Names
Date of Birth 1790-00-00
Date of Death 1830-00-00
Born c. 1790. died c.1830.  Thethe, also known as Mokganwana, was the son of Sekete, the first of the baFokeng "warrior kings" of the difaqane period. He inherited much of the military conflict initiated it seems by his father. When he became kgosi, the baPo, the baKgatla ba ga Kgafela and the baMmatau had united in opposition to the baFokeng. According to baFokeng traditions, Thethe gave considerable powers to his brothers, Noge and Nameng. The result of this was that they usurped his position, and Thethe was forced to seek refuge with the baMmatau. This started a prolonged period of civil conflict among the baFokeng.
Thethe then sent an emissary to the baPedi in today's Limpopo province, and paid allegiance to the baPedi paramount Sekwati. (This is according to baFokeng accounts. In fact it is probable that Thulare and not Sekwati, was the leader at this time). Thulare sent his brother Malekutu with a regiment of men to attack the baFokeng, The baFokeng under Noge and Nameng were badly defeated in this engagement. Cattle and captives were taken back to Pedi country. Thethe made himself extremely unpopular by his actions, but he had the support of a number of the baFokeng.
However he was not able to regain control of the baFokeng, and spent the rest of his days in exile, living firstly with the baThlokwa, then with the baMatlhaku. He was eventually hunted down by Noge and killed at the Hex river in about 1830. It is evident that Thethe had many sympathizers, for his son Mokgatle, quickly attracted followers after his father's death.      

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

With special thanks to our sponsors