DSAE test file

kgotla, noun

Forms:
cotla, kgotlaShow more singular cotla, kgotla, khothla, khotla, kotla, lekgotla, lekhothla; singular and plural makgotla; plural kgotlas, kotlas, makgotlas, makhotla, makhotlas.
Plurals:
usually makgotla or kgotlas.
Origin:
Sotho, TswanaShow more Sotho and Tswana kgotla, lekgotla courtyard, place of assembly, council chamber or enclosure (plural makgotla). For an explanation of singular and plural forms, see le- and ma- prefix2
I. In the context of traditional (rural) Sotho and Tswana society:
1. A meeting place, especially an enclosure in a village used for villagers’ assemblies, court cases, and meetings of the village’s leaders. Cf. inkundla sense 2.
1840 B. Shaw Memorials 303Morokos Kotla had no attractions yesterday; we went and sat down in it, but we could not bear to remain.
1990 City Press 17 June 17The next day, villagers assembled at the Kgotla to ask Lotlangtirang about the money.
2. A court of law composed usually of important people from a village or area. Cf. ibandla.
1924 E.B. Ford Waterfalls 10To-morrow shall the ‘Khotla’ try thy case..?
1982 Pace Apr. 35Speaking to villagers at Bapong, Pace discovered the strongroom has come to be accepted as the village jail, especially reserved for people who needed ‘softening’ up before they appear before the kgotla.
3. An assembly of the people of a village or area, usually for the discussion of some important matter. Cf. ibandla, imbizo, inkundla sense 1.
1950 H. Gibbs Twilight in S. Afr. 56He showed acumen by calling a kgotla (assembly) of the tribe, numbering roughly 500,000, and asking them to accept Ruth, his white wife, as their chieftainess.
1991 Weekend Argus 26 Jan. 8Some of the crowd that attended the ‘Battle of the Okavango’ kgotla (village gathering).
4. A council, usually one comprising a chief and the elders of his people and ruling over the people. Cf. ibandla. Also attributive.
1951 H. Davies Great S. Afr. Christians 124He had mastered the proverbial lore and vivid expressions of Sotho and he took his place as adviser in the khotla.
1988 E. Mphahlele Renewal Time 168Madam and those who think like her also wanted my people who have been to school to choose those who must speak for them in the — I think she said it looks like a kgotla at home who rule the villages.
II. Transferred senses, used mainly among Sotho and Tswana peoples.
5. Any gathering. Cf. ibandla.
1970 M. Dikobe Marabi Dance. 19The woman had had Marabi party dances and brandy gatherings of well dressed men, as well as a beer kgotla — meeting.
6.
a. people’s court sense 3. Also attributive.
1974 World 13 May 16Yesterday..the Zone 7, Meadowlands lekgotla flogged a 15-year-old youth after he had been found ‘guilty’ of molesting a school-girl.
1984 Frontline Feb. 13The Ward Four lekgotla, started in 1977 after a local woman was assaulted by a man who although turned in to the police was released and not prosecuted.
b. A group or gang of vigilantes, often composed of members of a people’s court, which patrols a township, ostensibly to maintain law and order; a member of such a group or gang. Also attributive.
1976 Scotsman in J. Sikakane Window on Soweto (1977) 30The Justice Minister..is considering giving legal status to tribal vigilante groups in the townships...These groups, known as makgotla, have operated unofficially in Soweto for several years. They work by tribal law and occasionally administer public floggings.
1990 R. Malan My Traitor’s Heart 65Mrs Ramathlape claimed that the men behind the kidnapping were makgotla — members of a tribal vigilante movement that had recently been dispensing rough justice in the townships.
7. A burial society.
1982 G. Mvubelo in Frontline Nov. 21The importance of death is shown by the Makhotlas, or Burial Societies. These, the real, traditional, makhotla, have nothing to do with the vigilante groups you see of in the newspapers. The real makhotla are supported by everyone...When death occurs among one of the members, they bury the deceased with all expenses arranged and paid.
A meeting place, especially an enclosure in a village used for villagers’ assemblies, court cases, and meetings of the village’s leaders.
A court of law composed usually of important people from a village or area.
An assembly of the people of a village or area, usually for the discussion of some important matter.
A council, usually one comprising a chief and the elders of his people and ruling over the people.
Any gathering.
people’s court3. Also attributive.
A group or gang of vigilantes, often composed of members of a people’s court, which patrols a township, ostensibly to maintain law and order; a member of such a group or gang. Also attributive.
A burial society.

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