TRADITIONAL leaders in the Mopani region want Premier Stan Mathabatha to release reports of leadership disputes conducted by the Kgatla Commission.
Several representatives from traditional councils met recently to determine a way forward on the matter in Tzaneen.
“We want the report released to Coghsta as soon as possible so that our rightful chief can be recognised as a separate house because there is chaos in this community. Many projects have been stopped due to this leadership uncertainty,” said Knox Michavi, one of the community leaders who attended the meeting.
He said there was confusion over the leadership of the Ngove and Mabunda chieftaincies in their area in Giyani.
“We are of the knowledge that the Premier is in possession of the report which recommended that Mabunda Traditional Council should be run as a separate house from that of Ngove,” Michavi said.
Michavi said they approached Mathabatha’s office on several occasions in a bid to resolve the matter but they were instead referred to the department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs [Coghsta]. However, said Michavie, Coghsta had referred them back to the premier’s office.
“The Royal family itself has attempted to meet with the Premier to understand the underlying factor why it is taking this long for the reports to be released but they are failing to secure an appointment to this day,” he said.
Ishmael Maswanganyi of Maswanganyi Traditional Council said that they had a similar problem to the one of Mabunda.
He said that they are also subjected under Chief Hlaniki Maluleke of the Hlaniki Traditional Council and they are also waiting the report from the Kgatla Commission which will see them serving their communities as a separate house to that of Hlaniki.
“We understand that the reports have been released to the premier before 2017 but we do not know why they are not releasing the reports because the act says the reports must be released 60 days after recommendations by the commissions,” he said.
Spokesperson for the Batlhabine Royal Council Mashile Phalane said the report from the Kgatla Commission which was leaked to them held that their current Chief Lebia Mogoboya be removed and his uncle Jack Mogoboya be recognised as the chief.
Mashile said that through a legal process, Coghsta and the Office of the Premier released a letter on the very same Friday they attended the meeting, exercising the recommendations by the commission and are waiting for a proper handover of the chieftaincy.
“Be that as it may, we have taken a resolution that we are going assist other communities with similar problems. And we are going to need the money that Lebia was earning illegally and also demand that the newly recognised chief be compensated his money from 2014 since he was supposed to have assumed that position that year. It is called contingency liabilities,” Mashile said.
The Tshabalala in Giyane traditional houses were also represented at the meeting. The Nkoana and Sekgopo could not make it due to family responsibilities.
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, denied that the premier still had reports from the Kgatla Commision.
”It is not true that the Premier still has reports from the Kgatla Commission. We also issued a statement late last year that the Kgatla Commission has finished its work but those that are still aggrieved can approach the House of Traditional Leaders, Contralesa and Coghsta for recognition and they will make a due diligence in how they assess a person as a legitimate Chief. It is not the Premier that recognises the Chiefs. There are processes that they should follow. The Premier only abides by what the Traditional Councils are saying after they have appointed their rightful Chief.”
He added that there are several ways of approaching the matter, including approaching the courts for relief as others have done in the past.