Decades-long chieftaincy row far from over

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Nearly two years after former Free State Premier Ace Magashule released the long-awaited report into a Thaba ’Nchu clan’s decades-long succession debate, the facts of the report are now being probed in the Bloemfontein High Court this week.

The sole applicant in the matter, Moipone Moroka, represented by Andries Petrus Berry is challenging the Commission on Traditional Leadership, Disputes and Claims’ report on the Barolong Boo Seleka’s succession debate on the grounds that the House of Traditional Healers was not consulted.

The applicant has been identified as a Senior Traditional Healer for the clan. The seven respondents in the matter include the Free State Premier, President of South Africa and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

The office of the Premier, represented by Senior Counsel Simmy Lebala and Lawrence Manye, argues the application was “an appeal dressed as a review” because the applicant is of the view the provincial government’s decision and report was wrong.

The three-year report found in favour of the alleged rightful heir Kingsley Moroka a direct descendent of Kgosi Moroka. In 2014, the then Chieftain, Gao Moroka (wife of the late Albert Moroka) had been requested to step down to allow Kingsley Moroka to take the throne. Lebala says the house of traditional healers was invited to the commission further asking where is the prejudice?

He goes on to say the commission was convened because it is neutral and the house is not. Berry argues while the house was invited, they were not necessarily consulted on the matter.

Judgment has been reserved.

OFM News/Olebogeng Motse