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Government restores Queenship of Balobedu Tribe

By Jimmy Malebati

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen visited the Modjadji Traditional Authority to officially inform them about the recognition of the Queenship of the Balobedu tribe. The visit started at Khehlakong Modjadji Royal House on the 26 July 2016.

“Our culture and tradition was not taken seriously. It has been very difficult for our elders to preserve this system. It all changed in 1994 when the democratic government came into power. Our constitution gave us power to support traditional leadership to build better traditional communities”, said Minister Des Van Rooyen during the formal recognition of the Queenship at Mokwakwaila Stadium, Mokwakwaila Village, Greater Letaba Municipality.

Minster Van Rooyen said that the restoration is a democratic victory. He added that as cabinet they view this as a gain to the struggle of our people and reversing the wrongs done by the apartheid government. This recognition restores the Modjadji Queenship, which was nullified by the apartheid government in 1972, by demoting Queen Makoma Modjadji IV to chieftaincy.

Minister Van Rooyen was accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Traditional Affairs, Obed Bapela, the MEC for CoGHSTA in Limpopo, Makoma Makhurupetje on behalf of the Premier, Executive Mayor of Mopani, Nkakareng Rakgoale and Mayors from Letaba, City Modjadji and Greater Tzaneen Mayor Dikeledi Mmetle respectively.

Speaking on behalf of the Limpopo Premier, MEC for CoGHSTA, Makoma Makhurupetje said that as a province they are happy to see the Balobedu Tribe grow and are committed to working with them. “This is the great Queenship known worldwide for rain making from the year 1800 and was nullified in 1972. But today marks an important day in history as national government restores its dignity”, said MEC Makhurupetje.

Modjadji Royal House Representative, Mogale Malatji said as the family they are happy about the restoration of the Queenship. “We have been reading about this in the media but today we got the official communique. We’re extremely excited and nothing in life is impossible if you put your shoulder to the wheel”, said Mogale Malatji.

The Queenship of Balobedu was recognized in terms of section 2A (3) (a) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 (Act No. 41 of 2003) on 31 March 2016. The entourage met with the Regent Bakgoma MT Modjadji and the senior leadership of the Traditional Authority.