Dinokana, meaning 'Many Streams"  was the main town of the baHurutshe. Though the area was know to them well before, it was only chosen as the capital in 1849, when Kgosi Moiloa 1 settled there with about 1500 people, among them about 50 Griqua converts, following over two decades of displacement following the Difaqane. Moiloa was accompanied by the Rev. Walter Inglis of the London Missionary Society.

Map showing Mafikeng, Lichtenburg & Zeerust Districts.
A natural fountain at the top of a nearby hill provided the means for irrigation, and until the 1970s, almost every household had access to this water. It was one of the most agriculturally productive sites in the western Transvaal, and the BaHurutshe grew winter wheat which was sold in the nearby towns. In 1864 a number of prominent Marico Boers, led by Casper and Diederick Coetzee, petitioned the State President, A.W Pretorius, to move Moiloa so that Dinokana could be settled by Boer families, but Pretorius refused.

 In 1875, following Moiloa's death, the BaHurutshe quarreled over his successor, and nearly half of the population moved to Gopane.
In 1881, Kgosi Ikalafeng, fearing an attack from several enemies, decided to defend Dinokana by building stone fortifications around it. In February 1882 a commando under instruction from General P. Joubert arrested Ikalafeng and pulled down the fortifications, and, somewhat curiously, re-erected them later as a "Monument to peace". In the 1980s, during the Bophuthatswana period, a number of agricultural schemes were started close to Dinokana, and the resettlement town of Lehurutshe was built about ten kilometres distant. This led to serious depletion of the water supply.  (See also Moiloa 1, London Missionary Society, Ikalafeng.)                               

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

With special thanks to our sponsors