Princess Masalanabo Modjadji, aged 12, and ANC MP Dr Mathole Motshekga. File Picture: AFP
Princess Masalanabo Modjadji, aged 12, and ANC MP Dr Mathole Motshekga. File Picture: AFP

Modjadji Royal Family has not requested Cyril Ramaphosa to recognise king

By Mashudu Sadike Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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Pretoria - The Modjadji Royal Family has not made a request for President Cyril Ramaphosa to recognise a king for the Balobedu monarchy.

This is according to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in a letter in response to an online petition signed by more than 2 000 people claiming to be part of the Balobedu nation outside Modjajiskloof in Limpopo.

The petition follows a decision by the Modjadji Royal Council to nominate Princess Masalanabo Modjadji’s older brother, Prince Lekukela Modjadji, to rule over the nation last month.

Princess Masalanabo, 16, was tipped to be the next rain queen of the Modjadji dynasty when she turned 18. However, the royal council decided that she was not ready, saying she had not gone through traditional rituals as a result of having not grown up in the area.

The decision sparked debate among the Balobedu, and court action was instituted against the royal council and regent, Prince Mpapatla Modjadji by ANC MP Mathole Motshekga, who raised Princess Masalanabo.

In the letter, which the Pretoria News has seen, the department’s director-general Mashahle Diphofa stated that the mandate of President Ramaphosa was to recognise the queen or king based on qualifying submissions by the royal family.

It said in part: “We wish to advise that in terms of kingships/kings and queenships/queens, the mandate of the president is to recognise them based on qualifying submissions made by the royal family and following consultations with the relevant premier and the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs. Currently, we are not in receipt of any formal request from the royal family for the president to recognise a king for Balobedu.

“We wish to assure you that should a formal submission be received for such recognition, it shall be duly assessed in line with the applicable provisions of the law (including customary law) before a decision is taken.”

“The demands you have raised, which have a bearing on such matters as the recognition of the royal council, the recognition of a regent and other applicable support services for the royal family, would require input from the provincial government as these are a provincial competence.

“I have noted that you have also copied your petition to the provincial government, and they should thus be in a position to advise you on these demands.”

The petition had been started by Pastor Samuel Manyama, who is from Bolobedu but now resides in Gauteng.

It stated that the Rain Queen was still a minor and expected to be ready in two years when she reached 18 years, “so this premature decision prejudice her right to the throne”.

“The Queen Royal Council is still to be instituted which is the appropriate structure to decide on matters relating to Balobedu,” it reads.

“This decision affects all the Mopani district chiefs far and above the Bolobedu and the rest of South Africa … ” It further stated that the heritage of Balobedu was threatened and “may be ended willy nilly through excuses that seem to be a cover-up for the greed of men in pursuit patriarchy at the expense of our rich history that spans over 200 years.”

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha’s spokesperson Willy Mosoma confirmed that they had received the petition and had taken note of its contents.

Pretoria News

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