Mmegi Online :: Headman challenges minister over Mopipi chieftainship
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Last Updated
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Headman challenges minister over Mopipi chieftainship

An angry Mopipi headman of records, who recently sued the government over its decision to appoint Kesegofetse Patelelo chief of the area, is contemplating yet another lawsuit over the disputed position.
By Tefo Pheage Thu 10 Dec 2015, 14:43 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Headman challenges minister over Mopipi chieftainship








Oreagetse Machilisa argues that he is “the deserving one” and says he was endorsed by Mopipi villagers following the death of the previous chief, Gakemotho Kgweetsi. Machilisa says since time immemorial, the Mopipi chieftaincy has been decided by automatic succession which makes him the natural candidate.

Machilisa’s latest lawsuit comes after government installed Patelelo following a court order stating that the post be declared vacant and the matter, instead, be remitted back to the people to decide.

Local Government and Rural Development minister, Slumber Tsogwane told Mmegi that Patelelo’s installation was in compliance with the court order and the matter had been sealed..

“Patelelo has been installed because our consultations have revealed that he was the one with the majority of supporters. I have heard that Machilisa is contemplating court action, but I have not not yet received any papers.

“What I know is that there is another third contender now who is a woman claiming that she is the rightful successor. This opens a new argument that the Mopipi bogosi is her birthright,” Tsogwane said.

Machilisa however says the tribe unanimously chose him

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as Kgweetsi’s successor shortly after the former chief’s death.

“When our chief died, the tribe gathered and unanimously agreed that I should take over but the government, under the deception of Bangwato top royals, made sure that they select their favourite for the position contrary to the people’s will,” he said.

Mmegi has established that the tribe is divided over who the next chief should be, hence the squabbles.

Several conflicting petitions have been written from the tribe to government on the matter, prompting Tsogwane to send assistant minister, Botlogile Tshireletso on September 10 to address villagers on issues raised. According to Machilisa, shortly after this address, “Bangwato royals” returned to the village with Patelelo’s name and began pushing for his installation.

Machilisa’s camp believes Tshireletso’s address was a ploy to secure support from the tribe.

Machilisa says he wants the minutes of the meetings which led to the decision to install Patelelo and has instructed his lawyers to take up the matter. “Bangwato royals want to behave like gods over surbodinate tribes and never want to hear us out,” he said.

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