Messages of condolence continue to pour in after the passing of the Bapedi king Thulare Victor Thulare the Third on Tuesday night. He died after a short illness. The royal family is yet to release an official statement.

Amongst the first to send her ministry’s message of condolence was the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.  She says it is shocking that the Bapedi king died hardly a year after his kingship was officially recognised following a long battle.

“He was involved in a protracted kingship dispute and legal battle with his uncle K.K. Sekhukhune. K.K was installed an Acting king when king Thulare Thulare was still young, but he refused to vacate the kingship to make way for Thulare Thulare the Third. The constitutional court affirmed him as the king of Bapedi,” says Dlamini-Zuma.

Limpopo Premier, Stan Mathabatha, has sent condolences to the Bapedi nation and the queen mother.

Mathabatha’s spokesperson Willy Mosoma says: “Premier Mathabatha is deeply touched and can’t believe the announcement about the sudden death of Bapedi king Thulare, Victor Thulare the Third of Bapedi ba le Kwabepe. He is sending condolences to the Queen’s mother, the tribal authority, the traditional institution at large the Bapedi nation in the entire Lekwebepe and to say may the soul of King Thulare Victor Thulare the Third rest in peace.”

Vha-Venda king Toni Mphephu-Ramabulana has urged Bapedi and the royal family to be united during these difficult times.

His spokesperson, Chief Nthumeni Masia, says: “Before king Thulare’s untimely death plans were already to formerly revive relationship in order for the two nationalities to forge ahead with the important battles to preserve our respective cultures and heritage. King Toni Mphephu-Ramabulana has called on the Bapedi nation to come together to unite in this difficult and confusing moment and not to allow anything that shall bring division between the Bapedi people.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has also sent condolences to the royal family and Bapedi people. “The King was committed in nation building, enfostering unity, uplifting misaligned communities and improving the lives of the Bapedi nation. The DA believes the traditional leadership plays an integral role in chancing traditional and culture as well as being drivers and agents of rural development and social empowerment. On behalf of the DA I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the rural family, royal council and the Bapedi people during this difficult time of loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,” says DA leader in Limpopo, Jacques Smalle.

The ANC in Limpopo has also weighed in. Spokesperson Donald Selamolela says:“We want to pass our sincere condolences to the Bapedi kingdom on the loss of the Paramount king Thulare Thulare the Third. We are saddened by his loss. As the ANC in the province we were looking forward to working so much with him after he was affirmed as the Paramount king of the Bapedi kingdom. We want to really pass our condolences to his subjects, the people of the Sekhukhune land, the people of Limpopo and the people of South Africa in general for such a loss, may his soul rest in peace.”

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania also sent its message of condolence to the royal family.

Chief Kekana laid to rest

Meanwhile, chief Sello Madimetja Kekana the Third of Matebele ba Ga Moletlane, in the Zebediela area, has been buried according to royal protocols. He died earlier this week. Family spokesperson Bigboy Kekana says Kgoshi Kekana died on Monday and was buried at night within 24 hours.”

“Our chief Sello Madimejta the third Kekana has passed on we have even buried him according to our protocols. So the only thing remaining is call all the subjects or the villagers or everyone to come and attend the memorial service when the time is right. Because we respect the regulations of the country.”

The office of the National House of Traditional Affairs has also expressed sadness on the passing of the traditional leaders in the province this week.