SELEBI-PHIKWE: Leitlho La Motse, a ‚Äėconcerned group‚ÄĚ of Mmadinare residents has issued notice to the Attorney General of its bid to challenge the installation of Kgosi Kebuang Mphoeng.
Mphoeng officially ascended to the seat on October 1, taking over from Kgosi Phokontsi Seeletso who held the fort on his behalf for 24 years. A chieftainship battle has raged in the Central District village for years, as a section of the villagers have challenge Mphoeng’s royalty.
In an interview on Monday, the group’s attorney, Joram Matomela of JJ Matomela Attorneys said processes were ongoing to challenge the youthful Mphoeng’s installation.
“We are currently following the procedures to take the matter to court,” Matomela said. “We have issued a statutory notice to the Attorney General and upon its expiry we will file papers before the High Court. We are challenging the installation of the chief and the minister’s decision to install him.”
Representatives of the Leitlho la Motse delegation, Eric Masalila, Alfred Mosimanyana and Marang Mabengano, told Mmegi that they want the court to declare Mphoeng’s installation null and void because there are a lot of pending issues surrounding their village’s chieftaincy.
They said that they raised issues concerning the chieftainship of their village to one Kgosi Telekelo who had reportedly been assigned by the relevant minister in July 2013, but no report had been availed thereafter.
“We want the court to force out the report because we believe that it does not favour the government. We engaged an attorney and our interest was to block the installation but were deterred by some technicalities,” the trio said.
The Leitlho la Motse representatives said they were presently mobilising more support in the village. They said they were holding meetings in the village to strategise and mobilise residents as well as decide on how they would pay the legal fees.
They also want to identify witnesses who have a rich historical background on the village’s chieftainship.The representatives claimed that law enforcement officials were disrupting their mobilisation meetings and making efforts to intimidate villagers.
“We really want to see the matter resolved and they are willing to give law enforcement agencies any information they need because we do not have ill-intentions,” one of the trio said.
Those opposing the new chief say his forefather was originally sent by the late Bamangwato regent, Tshekedi Khama, to unite people who had settled in Mmadinare and help the area become a village.
“The Mphoengs are not the royals here; therefore they cannot inherit our chieftainship,” opponents of the chief told Mmegi in previous interviews.
For his part, the immediate past chief, Kgosi Seeletso said while he was aware of the concerned group’s manoeuvres, nothing short of a court order could reverse the installation.
“Kgosi Mphoeng was endorsed last year and what happened on October 1 was just a celebration to enthrone him.
Kgosi Mphoeng is legitimate and he has been advised to serve the whole community equally, even those who are opposed to him,” Kgosi Seeletso said.
Kgosi Seeletso said Leitlho la Motse’s complaints were not specifically about royalty as the group did not have anyone they believed was the rightful heir.
“They say morafhe should choose who they want but there is no such a provision in bogosi,” he said.