Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland this week announced the sale of an A119 Koala as a corporate vehicle for an African king, with no mention of the royal family's platinum mining activities.

Agusta revealed the sale of the Koala on Thursday to "His Majesty Leruo Molotlegi, King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation in South Africa" to be used as the personal transport of His Majesty Leruo Molotlegi and other VIPs.

The baFokeng nation occupies an area of some 2,000km2 (770miles2) around Phokeng in South Africa's North West Province. Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the leader of the 300,000-strong baFokeng nation but also the head of newly-formed Royal baFokeng Resources Holdings (RBR) company that manage the mining-related interests of the semi-autonomous region, which has the the world's second largest platimnum reservces and signifcant chrome deposits.

baFokeng A119 W445

The baFokeng area was previously a part of the Bophuthatswana 'bantustan' during apartheid but in in 1999, the baFokeng obtained a 22% royalty on all platinum extracted from their land as well as a stake in South African giant Impala Platinum Mining (Implats) worth around $70 million and a 43.9% share in SA Chrome and Alloys as part of reparations with the South African state for 30 years of commercial mining on its soil. The kingdom also receives royalties of around $63 million from platinum mining each year, making RBR one of the wealthiest non-corporate entities in South Africa.

Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the 36th recorded baFokeng monarch and has pledged to use the mineral wealth of around R180 million ($25 million) to provide a self-sufficient economy.

The A119 carries a South African registration and RBR colour scheme.