Ras Thomas Mokoka, originally resident at Mabieskraal (Pilansberg), Rustenburg District, [Western] Transvaal [now North West Province] was banished on 19 December 1955 to Driefontein Native Trust Farm, Vryburg, [Western] Transvaal [now North West Province].
Mokoka was one of the five members of the Bathlako counsellors, together with Chief Jeremiah Mabe, and he was banished from Mabieskraal to the Driefontein banishment camp. It was claimed that their presence in Mabieskraal was “inimical to the peace, order and good government of the African people living there.”
The banishment orders were challenged in the Supreme Court, Pretoria, and on 5 June 1956 set aside. The Judge granted the order on the grounds “that the principle audi alterem partem had not been observed in that the applicant had not been given a hearing before the issue of the order.”
However, fresh banishment orders were issued by the Minister of Native Affairs and the Governor-General and were served on Chief Mabe and his five counsellors on 6 June 1956, thus nullifying the court victory.
His banishment order was withdrawn on 8 February 1964.
• Contribution by Professor S. Badat on Banishment, Rhodes University, 2012. From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat