Prince Lekukela Modjadji installed as King of the Balobedu

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The traditional installation of Prince Lekukela Modjadji as the king of the Balobedu continued at Khetlhakoni Royal Palace in Modjadjiskloof outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.

The sacred traditional rites started last Friday night. Yesterday, the Pretoria High Court dismissed an urgent application to interdict the installation ceremony. The application was brought by ANC MP Mathole Motshekga who is the foster parent of Princess Masalanabo.

The royal council however announced last year that Prince Lekukela would take over.

Only indunas of the Balobedu royal house were allowed inside the private residence at Ketlhakoni in Modjadjiskloof outside Tzaneen, for the installation of the  Prince Lekukela.

The spokesperson of the Modjadji royal council, Ronnie Moroatshehla, says the ritual ceremony is a family secret.

“It started last night indeed today this morning  we are rapping up,I’m already coming from the royal residence, the people you see here,exclusively only the indunas will be allowed to go through the gate into  the royal residence,that’s where we are going formally wrap up the installation of his majesty king  elect Lekukela,”said Moroatshehla.

Some community members have expressed mixed reactions to the installation of the Balobedu’s king-elect, Prince Lekukela Modjadji.  Some residents say they welcome the installation, while others still expect Princess Masalanabo to take over from her late mother.

“We expected Masalanabo to take over we had hopes that she will follow in the footsteps of her mother and be a queen as per our tradition,”

“In the absence of Masalanabo we welcome the new king, we are happy that there is a new king, will soon have rain,”

The Modjadji royal family says they will now wait for the coronation of the king-elect as the king of Balobedu. Moroatshehla says they will be communicating with the Presidency and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for them to determine the official day of coronation.

The Balobedu have for the past two centuries been ruled by queens, who are known for their rain-making powers.  The last queen, Makobo Modjadji the Sixth, passed away in 2005.  She left two children, King-elect Lekukela and Princess Masalanabo.