Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile pays tribute to the late Ngaka Mpubane Julius Rakgetse

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12 Feb 2014

It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that we learned of the passing of Ngaka Julius Mpubane Rakgetse on the 28th March 2014.  The traditional, cultural and indigenous knowledge communities have been robbed of an innovative healer and philanthropist whose gift of healing has touched many lives.

He was born in 1951 in Maleoskop (Thabantsho) next to Groblersdal in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Through the Batubatse Le Maphagwana Crusaders he provided training and healing services to clients from different parts of the world, Ngaka Rakgetse, played a pioneering role in the contribution and development of Traditional Medicine and healing systems including Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

He contributed to the development of the Traditional Medicine Policy and he was part of Traditional Healers Association. 

In 1987 Ngaka Rakgetse founded the Pulo Ya Meropa Festival an event conceived through a dream and an ancestral vision which was created to introduce the new year where all members of the community, especially children are invited to participate. Pulo Ya Meropa was developed over the years through Ngaka Rakgetse’s personal funding. In the recent years, the Department of Arts and Culture has contributed support to this festival. The festival comprises of an array of activities and diverse traditions of dance, music, folk story- telling, drumming, and sharing of artistic and cultural knowledge, traditional food and exhibition of traditional clothing. It has attracted different groups from different parts of South Africa. During the three days period of the Festival, the surrounding areas are filled with activity and also economic opportunities and job creation.

Ngaka Rakgetse was popularly known for his generosity and contribution to various community projects, especially to the people of Tafelkop. Ngaka Rakgetse also assisted many people with school fees and bursaries to further studies since he was passionate about education.

“We extend our heartfelt and deepest condolences to his family, friends, and everyone who has benefitted from his wisdom, friendship and generosity. His philanthropic initiatives, his musical voice, abundant humility, generosity and dedication to his work, especially in indigenous knowledge systems will be sorely missed. South Africa has indeed lost a great man,” concluded Minister Mashatile.

Ngaka Rakgetse’s legacy will live on through all his initiatives, Batubatse Le Maphagwana; Pulo Ya Meropa and his students whom he had impacted greatly.

Ngaka Rakgetse will be laid to rest on 05th April 2014.

Enquiries:                 Mogomotsi Mogodiri: MogomotsiM@dac.gov.za , 071 687 4984