16 April 2018 Read: 1300
Mpapatla Modjadji, Regent to the Queen-elect, Masalanabo Modjadji VII, has asked the government to speed up the return of land taken by the colonisers back to the community. He also requested that the government remember that the land was not taken from government, but from the ancestors of the Balobedu people. The area demanded includes Politsi, Deerpak and the now defunct Tzaneen Central Business District.
Addressing residents during his inauguration as Regent of the Modjajdji Queenship on Saturday, he said “we have asked the government to speed up the restoration of the land which was taken by the Transvaal Volksraad in 1894 after the battle of Brandboontjies. We had experience that the government listens when we talk to them. Let us be patient and show the world that we are a peaceful nation.”
Mpapatla added that the government of the day, like in the past will fulfill the promises they made to the community of Balobedu. He said that they asked the former premier Ngoako Ramathlodi, to ask president Nelson Mandela to visit the royal house so that they could raise their concerns with the new government of the ANC.
“In 1999 President Nelson Mandela visited the Balobedu capital Khethakoni to see our Queen Mokope Modjadji V. The Queen asked the president that he help her restore back her status of Queenship which was lowered by the Apartheid government, that he build her a technical college, restore back the land which was taken away by the apartheid regime, that a car be bought for her and Modjadji College be converted into a science centre,” explained spokesperson for the Balobedu Traditional Council, Phetole Mampeule.
“The president responded and through a donation from Barloworld, built a school. A luxurious Lexus was donated by Toyota and Nissan donated a 4X4 bakkie, and a clinic was erected at Khikhutini. On the issue of the restoration of the land the president said that a commission was appointed to deal with the land claims and the matter of the Queenship will be referred to the commission investigating traditional leadership in the country.”
On the 15th of September 2015, former COGTA minister Pravin Gordhan officially informed the Modjadji traditional council of the report and recommendations of the Tolo Commission. In terms of the report the Modjadji traditional leadership was found to be of higher status to the other traditional leadership positions.
This meant that the commission on the 31st of March 2016, in terms of section 2 A (3) (a) of the Traditional Leadership Governance Framework, act 41 of 2003, former president of the republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, signed and recognised the Queenship of Balobedu.
Mampeule further said that what is now left to be delivered by the government is the land which was taken by the Transvaal government. He said the land which the community of Balobedu want restored back include the place where Tzaneen town is located, the farming area in the South which includes the Westfalia avocado orchards and the mango plantations in the Deerpak area North of the Tzaneen town.
Could this be the reason behind the GTM’s absolute neglect of their town’s CBD? In one social media post recently, the spokesperson for the GTM, Neville Ndlala, likened the CBD to another Masvingo. (Masvingo is a city in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province).