CoGTA accused of mishandling a chieftaincy dispute in Tjakastad, Mpumalanga

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The Mpumalanga Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Department is accused of failing to properly handle a chieftaincy dispute, among the Malaza family, in Tjakastard near Emanzana, Mpumalanga.

This came after some family members expressed concerns about the appointment of 26-year-old Nhlanhla Malaza as his successor. Malaza is the grandson of the late Chief Khokhayi Malaza.

They handed over a memorandum of grievances directed to the CoGTA MEC, Mandla Ndlovu.

Succession debates often create conflicts among members of royal families. The Malaza royal family is also not seeing eye to eye on who should succeed the late Chief Malaza, who died last year.

While some members of the family have already announced Nhlanhla Malaza as the new Chief of Mandlamakhulu Tribal Authority, others say according to their customs, Khokhayi’s son, Mlamuli Malaza, should ascend to the throne.

Speaking on behalf of the concerned family members, Jabulani Malaza says their main concern is that Nhlanhla is not a son but a grandson to the late Chief.

“The one that they are saying is the chief is not the son of the late chief. Secondly, his mother is not the wife but just a girlfriend. Actually to the late chief, he is a grandson, and therefore, he cannot be able to take over the throne since he is not the son, and he is not one of the children of the wives of the late Chief KJ Malaza,” says Jabulani Malaza.

He also claims that a dispute letter was sent to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, accusing it of bias and failing to provide them with the outcomes of the dispute resolution. They have since sought the intervention of the newly-appointed COGTA MEC, Mandla Ndlovu.

But, another member of the family, Sam Malaza dismissed allegations that proper procedures were disregarded when the grandson was announced as the new Chief.

“What we know is that we followed all the protocols and we don’t know why they are saying what they are saying because to the royal family members who were there in the meeting we clarified that. It is true that he is the grandson of the late chief. But the thing is- there is a reason behind why the royal family has chosen the one that is chief now,” Sam Malaza argues.

In the memorandum of grievances directed to MEC Ndlovu, the disgruntled family members are calling for the closure of the Mandlamakhulu Tribal Authority offices until the matter is resolved. Meanwhile, CoGTA has not responded to questions sent to them last Friday.