At a 1953 meeting in Lusikisiki, [Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape] betterment and the Bantu Authorities (BA) were rejected in the presence of the Paramount Chief (PC). Govan Mbeki writes in his book, The Peasants Revolt, that‘one man by the name of Mngqingo (Pikani) turned his backside to Botha Sigcau, a sign of no-confidence.  Actually, it was not Pikani but Mnyungula Maqutu, ‘who danced towards Sigcau and showed him his bare buttocks while driving a spear into the ground;’ and apart from showing a lack of confidence, it was the ‘gravest insult that could be inflicted to persons in authority and a definite declaration of war.’The people supported him and booed the chief and the officials.  Soon after, ‘a large contingent of police entered the area, and Mngqingo took a large peasant army with him to the thick forests. When the government appeared to give up the affair, however, Mngqingo emerged and disbanded his impi.

The documentation related to the banishment order states that a ‘recalcitrant group of Natives’ led by Mngqingo Pikani opposed an inquiry into the destruction of forests and illegal occupation of land in the Mtambalala and Lower Ntafufu Locations, Lusikisiki. Indeed, they had had organized a party to murder state officials. The inquiry continued despite resistance and a meeting that was held to explain the reasons for the inquiry was broken up by Pikani and his group.

Criminal proceedings were then instituted against Pikani and Maqutu but they failed to appear for trial.  The community sheltered the accused and threatened to resist any attempts to apprehend them.  The police force was sent in to apprehend the accused and bloodshed was avoided ‘solely on account of the restraint exercised by the police.’ Pikani was apprehended, but turmoil continued in the locations, and it was argued that unless he was banished order would not be restored.  He was banished on 2 October 1952 to Engcobo District in the Eastern Province.

It was alleged that he subsequently incited murder against people assisting the officials of the Native Affairs Department (NAD) with the land enquiry in Mtambalala and Ntafufu Locations. He was eventually arrested, and banished to Kirsten Farm, Sibasa District [Tshivhase], [Northern] Transvaal, [now Limpopo]on 27 April 1953. 

His order was withdrawn on 22 September 1962. 


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

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