16 April 2018 Read: 82
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his entourage accompanied former president Jacob Zuma to Mokwakwaila stadium on Saturday to attend the restoration of the Balobedu Queenship. Zuma spent the night at the Fairview Hotel on Friday amid a massive power outage which lasted 53 hours in some areas. He joined up with Ramaphosa the following morning and the pair left to the Khethakoni Royal palace where they were to offer the Queen gifts and engage in discussion around the current state of affairs in the area.
At the stadium, Ramaphosa addressed many hundreds of spectators who were bussed in from as far as Phalaborwa, Venda, Maruleng and all areas within the Greater Letaba Municipality (GLM). No members of the Greater Tzaneen municipality were spotted in attendance. In fact, the only Tzaneen locals we spotted were our fellow journalists.
“Two years ago we saw the historical restoration of the Balobedu Queenship which was reduced by the former colonialist regimes. Born in the Ndzelele valley, they are of the same stock as the Vakwevo and they take the great pig in high esteem. They are of Masingo (Masvingo), Balozwi of Mambo Changamire and the descendants of Monomotapa of the great mountains of Zimbabwe. They endured trials for 417 years,” Ramaphosa stated in his address.
He went on to explain the relevance of the Balobedu Queenship and its uniqueness, stating that it differs from the rest of the world because this queen is not the wife of a king, but a daughter of royalty.
“We urge that the transition from the regent to the Queen-elect be peaceful. Regent Bakhoma Mpapatla will assume leadership on behalf of the Queen-elect, Masalanabo Modjadji VII, who will be installed after she graduates in terms of the Balobedu tradition of the determination of adulthood, customs and traditions.” said Ramaphosa. “Recently, together with the members of the ANC after the conference, we saw fit to introduce the new leaders of the ANC to the descendants of our kings, queens, and the chiefs in our country. We felt humbled by the unbroken bond we have with the royals and we will pull up our socks together with the traditional leaders to build a better society, free of problems.”
Ramaphosa went on to reiterate his fight to restore the inequalities of the past and said that his party took the decision in December to “return the land that was taken by the colonisers” back to the people, whether they [colonisers] like it or not. However, he emphasized that the land would be used to farm and create jobs for the jobless communities around the areas.
The President explained that Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has made assessments in the seven provinces which are, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State, Limpopo, and North West aimed at speeding up the aforementioned process. He finally appealed to traditional leaders to work hand-in-hand with councillors so service delivery could be sped up.
— Jan Mafetsa