THE Limpopo Provincial Government has called on residents to refrain from displaying tribal tendencies that may divide citizens of Malamulele and Vuwani and ultimately undermine social cohesion.
This came after it emerged that there were people using tribalism to fuel tension at the newly created LIM 345 Municipality which has been hit by municipal demarcation related violence.
African Times reported this week that residents of strife-torn Malamulele had on Sunday last week adopted resolutions with far reaching consequences for ethnic harmony and social cohesion in the province.
Accusing their Venda-speaking neighbours of tribalism and hatred for Tsongas in the Vhembe district, they had resolved to push for the relocation of their new Lim 345 municipality to Mopani – in a move which effectively seeks to return Limpopo to the apartheid era Bantustan boundaries.
The residents had agreed to push for the Tsonga-speaking areas stretching as far as Elim under the Makhado municipality to be incorporated into the new Lim345.
They wanted the new entity to be moved from the jurisdiction of Vhembe district, which is predominantly Venda-speaking, to Mopani, whose residents predominantly speak Tsonga.
They had also circulated a secret document at their meeting which attacked Vha-Venda King Tony Mphephu Ramabulana and Balodebu Queen Modjadji, accusing them of being “legless tribalistic dragons” that wanted to “swallow Tsonga-speaking people”.
Speaking during a post EXCO media briefing in Polokwane on Thursday morning, Limpopo provincial government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said: “There is nothing wrong when different tribes come together in order to celebrate and do good things, while it is very wrong when the tribes come together to fight each other. Since 1994 as a provincial government, we managed to bring every tribe on board so that we can live in harmony.”
Seloba added: “To us, there is no Vuwani and Malamulele, its LIM345. We are aware that there is a document that is circulating in order to insult other tribes. We also plead with you guys in the media, to be careful when you report on these tribal issues, because it might cause some problems.”
Municipal demarcation disputes in the area have morphed into an ethnic war which pitted Venda-speaking and Tsonga-speaking people in Vuwani and Malamulele.
A few days ago, Vatsonga-Machangana chiefs and some members of the Malamulele Task Team met in Giyani to discuss the Vuwani demarcation stalemate.
They are aggrieved by the government’s decision to allow Vuwani residents to receive services from the Vhembe District Municipality instead of LIM345. This came after Vuwani residents went on the rampage demanding the reversal of the Municipal Demarcation Board’s decision to incorporate their area into Lim 345.