Royal changes cause chaos

GA-SELEKA — Unhappy residents of Ga-Seleka have last week taken to the streets to protest against developments in the Tribal council.

On Wednesday 2 May, some residents in the villages near Seleka could not go to work as residents were protesting in support of the Acting Chief Phetogo David Seleka to retain the Chieftaincy.

Earlier in February 2018 it was reported that the Polokwane High Court ruled that the Acting Chief be dismissed. At that stage a court order had not yet been received by Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha, the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders or COGHSTA, who were cited as the first, second and third respondents respectively in a matter brought by the Seleka Royal Family and Seleka Sa Motlhasedi Royal Council.

According to African Times, which first broke the story after the judgement, the matter was first launched in 2014 in the Pretoria High Court before it was transferred to the Polokwane High Court.

Tebogo Dorcas Seleka submitted that a petition was forwarded to the Premier in 2014 for the removal of the acting chief and it was not acted upon. She also told the court that one of the reasons for the application to remove the acting chief was that he refused to marry a candle wife, thereby undermining the authority of the royal family, customs and traditions, as well as bringing the chieftaincy into disrepute.

The matter was again postponed to 23 January 2017 but could not be heard because the acting Chief said he was ill, and the Premier, the House of Traditional Leaders and the Department, introduced a new council for the first time before the matter was postponed to 4 April 2017 but could not be heard until 22 December 2017.

Some of the reasons given for the Acting Chief to be removed include:

  • The Royal Family had a dispute with acting chief over mining issues which were discussed at a community hall.
  • The acting chief was uncooperative, undermined the Royal Family and has no respect for authority.
  • The acting chief has since deserted the royal kraal and has nominated his friends who are non-members of the Royal Family to co-manage the tribal council’s affairs.

As part of his judgement, Judge MG Phatudi said that Acting Chief Phetogo Seleka deserted the royal kraal and rendered the traditional council dysfunctional through his recalcitrant behaviour, plunging the plaintiff’s administration into disarray.

“If failure to attend ordinary Kgoro (traditional) meetings, when notified to do so does not constitute ‘negligence or insolence’ in the performance of his duties as acting Chief (Kgoši) then he ought to be pardoned, if necessary for his conduct, so to speak.”

Phatudi then ordered the Premier to withdraw the certificate of recognition and the Acting Chief to pay the costs.

Last week’s developments saw the Acting Chief replaced by Tebogo Dorcas Seleka, whom some community members say is not from the royal family and not the rightful person to lead the Baphuting clan.

This resulted in disunity within Seleka as well as its surrounding villages, mainly Motlhasedi.

Residents had a meeting on the 29 April 2018 where it was agreed to have a follow up meeting that includes concerned residents under the leadership of Chief Seleka.

On 1 May, disgruntled residents from Seleka visited the faction they accuse of removing Phetogo Seleka and replacing him with Tebogo Seleka. They had peaceful talks and another meeting was arranged for Sunday, where they reached an agreement to have the intervention of the Limpopo MEC of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA) Makoma Makhurupetje.

On Tuesday 8 May, residents attended a meeting in solidarity, while awaiting the MEC to give them a report.

At the time of going to print Mogol Post had not heard the MEC’s response on the matter.

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