RECENT community demonstrations in Ga-Sekgopo increased the already high pressure for Acting Kgoshigadi Mokgadi Sekgopo to step down from her acting role as Chief of the Ga-Sekgopo people in the Greater Letaba Municipality in Limpopo.
The Sekgopo Development forum led community protests that saw the R81 road to Giyani being barricaded. Community members also threatened to stage a sit in at the Sekgopo Traditional Council offices, resulting in the offices being closed.
According to Timothy Maluleke, an advisor for the Sekgopo Development the forum, they did not recognise the acting chief anymore after they received a letter from the former Limpopo Premier, Cassel Mathale and the Kgatla Commission in 2011 pronouncing William Sekgopo II, as the rightful Chief of the Sekgopo clan. The forum has called for the Acting Chief to step down with immediate effect.
“As the Development Forum we are appalled that she continues to hang on the throne after all the recommendations. We want her to give up all benefits she receives so that the rightful Chief can start receiving them” said Maluleke.
“We wanted to hold a meeting in our office as the rightful Traditional Council, only to find out that she had locked the office and taken furniture belonging to the office without council’s knowledge,” alleged Maluleke.
“We have been patient as the community from 2011, we have written a letter to the current premier and the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA),requesting their intervention, they have been promising to send another commission to hold talks with her but their promises left much to be desired,” said Maluleke.
Maluleke claims that Kgoshigadi Mokgadi was married to a previous Chief whose chieftaincy was marred by disputes because of another claim to the Chieftaincy at the time. He said that Kgoshigadi Mokgadi’s husband assumed the chieftaincy at the time when there was uncertainty about the leadership role and since he [the husband] was closely related to William II, he ascended to the throne.
In her response to the claims, Kgoshigadi Sekgopo said that there was no way she was going to relinquish the throne based on the claims made by the forum and some of her relatives.
She denied ever seeing the report from the former Limpopo Premier Mathale which Maluleke claims to be in possession of. Kgoshigadi Sekgopo said that following claims that she was supposed to have been dethroned in 2011, they approached the Kgatla Commission for its intervention on the matter and are still awaiting findings and recommendations.
“They are also aware that we have approached the commission. We are puzzled by their impatience, however if they can prove their claims to be correct, then I will give up the throne. I am still the Acting Chief. I was married to give birth to a Chief and after my husband passed-on, I was made to act as the Chief until my son Koma Sekgopo reached the right age to ascend to the throne as he was five years old when I was made Chief. He was supposed to have taken the reins in 2015 and it was put on hold due to this uncertainty” said Kgoshigadi.