Treaty Mahlouoe Mopeli, originally a resident in the Witzieshoek Native Reserve, Harrismith District, Orange Free State [now Free State Province], was issued with a banishment order dated 8 March 1954 that banished her to Uitkyk Farm No. 92 in the Groblersdal district of the [Northern] Transvaal [now Limpopo Province], where she joined her partner, Chief Paulus Howell Mopeli.

Despite the banishment of her partner and other leaders from Witzieshoek, there continued to be opposition to state interventions. Mopeli was considered a leader of the “agitators” against the state. The fact that she had refused the Native Affairs Department’s (NAD’s) “generous” offer to join her banished partner was construed as her wishing to be in Witzieshoek to continue resistance in Chief Mopeli’s name.

The Mopeli’s were not restricted to the farm (Uitkyk) and, it was alleged, used their freedom of movement to garner support for their “anti-state cause” and “left-leaning” people came to their home at night. It was argued to be in the “general public’s interest” if they were removed from Groblersdal to somewhere more rural where their influence would not have such great effect.

Together with Chief Mopeli, she was banished to Frenchdale Native Trust Farm, Mafeking District, in the Northern Cape (now North West Province) on 29 August 1957. Thereafter, she was banished to Ewbank Farm, Kuruman District, Northern Cape [now North West Province].

Her banishment order was only withdrawn in July 1972.


• 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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