In 1962, people from a ‘swartkol’ (‘black spot’), Maleuskop, between Groblersdal [Limpopo Province] and Middelburg [Mpumalanga] were removed and relocated at Tafelkop, 19km from Groblersdal.

In 1965, dissatisfied with conditions at Tafelkop, about 100 families attempted to resettle at Maleuskop; thereafter, ‘the chief’s son”¦was banished to a place near Glen Cowie.’ Joshua Ramopudu, from Groblersdal District,   was banished on 29 June 1964to the ‘Native Trust Farm Driefontein’ in the Vryburg district [North West Province].

 Ramopudu’s banishment was motivated on the grounds that he was the illegitimate son of the previous chief of the Bakopa and, according to tradition, the second in line to the throne; allegedly, he was antagonistic towards the acting chief and aspired to be the chief himself.

He stopped attending community meetings and assumed leadership of a group that called for and planned to return to the ‘swartkol’ in June 1964.  There, they intended to establish themselves as a separate community with Ramopudu as the chief.  It was claimed that moves were afoot to murder the acting chief and those who refused to support the return to the black spot.

Ramopudu’s banishment order was revoked in 1967.


Contribution by Professor S. Badat, Rhodes University, 2012. From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat

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