Boas Moiloa

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Biographical information


Banished person

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Boas Moiloa, from Linokana Reserve (Zeerust), Marico District, Transvaal [North West Province] is described by Advocate George Bizos’ as ‘a dignified, elderly man who, during the troubles after Abram's expulsion, had come through necessity to be seen as the head of the tribe.’ Kgosi [Chief] Abram Ramotshere Pogiso Moiloa, was a key figure in the Bahurutshe resistance of the 1950s.  He was from Linokana Reserve (Zeerust), Marico District, Transvaal [North West Transvaal, now North West Province]. Hewas banished on 27 February 1958 to ‘Binfield Native Reserve’ in the Victoria East district of the Cape [Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape].

When informed by the regional Native Commissioner (NC), at a local school hall, that he was now the Kgosi [Chief]in Dinokana, Boas Moiloa replied, ‘With my own eyes I have seen three chiefs appointed to my tribe. Each one was appointed by being acclaimed by the tribe as a whole in the Kgotla [Council], none in a school hall. My father and my father’s father said that it was always so. I know that my people want our chief back. I will not become chief unless the Kgotla acclaims me.’

His banishment order noted that he was arrested during April 1957 for arson but had to be released in order to defuse tensions. He was accused of being a member and agent of the African National Congress (ANC) who mobilised funds for defending people arrested during the conflict. It was stated that when the ANC was declared illegal in the Marico District and Boas Moiloa left the area there was ‘peace and good cooperation’ with the state; his return led to renewed dissent.

On 26 May 1958, Moiloawas banished to theKing William’s Town District, [Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape], ‘a place where”¦where his language was not spoken and where he lived alone in a corrugated iron shack. He had no neighbours, no shop nearby”¦and he had to walk miles to fill his can with water.’ He became very ill in April 1961, and was hospitalised. He was then sent to live with his daughter in Randfontein, but still not allowed to move about freely.

His banishment order was withdrawn on 19 November 1963.


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

Last updated : 19-Dec-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 26-Mar-2012