Aug 28, 2012

Vhavenda: Kingship Case Almost Resolved

Senior traditional leaders are challenging the findings of the Nhlapo Commission of Traditional Leadership Claims released in 2010. 

Below is an article published by Zoutnet:

Judgment was reserved in the long-awaited High Court ruling on the Vhavenda Kingship case.

Last Thursday, four senior traditional leaders concluded their submissions in the High Court in Thohoyandou. The four senior Vhavenda traditional leaders are Thovhele Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, Thovhele Gole Musiiwa Mphaphuli, Thovhele Tshidziwelele Nephawe and Thovhele Kennedy Midiyavhathu Tshivhase.

Tshivhase, Mphaphuli and Nephawe are challenging the findings of the Nhlapo Commission of Traditional Leadership Claims, which was released by Pres Jacob Zuma on 29 July 2010. The commission recommended that the kingship of the Vhavenda nation be restored under the lineage of Mphephu Ramabulana.

Representing Thovhele Kennedy Tshivhase, Adv Simon Lebala contended that their submissions were based on the fact that, since the Tshivhase Dynasty split from Dzata (the Mphephu Ramabulana kraal), they were never ruled by anybody. “We want the Vhavenda people to be ruled by three senior traditional leaders (Mphephu Ramabulana, Tshivhase and Mphaphuli) separately, as each king in his own dynasty. We want three kings to rule the Vhavenda people, like in the Eastern Cape where there are three kings,” said Lebala.

The Tshivhase claims were also supported by Mphaphuli, represented by Adv Tsietsi Ramatsekisa.

Adv Mbuyiseli Madlanga, representing Thovhele Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, dismissed the claims of Mphaphuli, the Vhangona and Tshivhase as baseless, because in the history of the Vhavenda people, Mphephu Ramabulana was the elder clan. According to Madlanga, they fully support the findings of the Nhlapo Commission because the commission looked at each claimant accurately and Thovhele Toni Mphephu was the rightful heir to the throne.

Judge Francis Lekgodi also announced that the judgment would soon be announced in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.