There is a looming court battle for the throne of the Balobedu nation in Limpopo. The foster parents of Princess Masalanabo Modjadji will go to court to challenge the Modjadji Royal Council’s decision to appoint her brother, Prince Lekukela, as the next monarch.
The royal council says they have had no access to Princess Masalanabo, who lives with her foster parents, African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Mathole Motshekga, and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in Gauteng, and thus were not able to train her on her duties as monarch.
The Modjadji royal family refute claims of deviating from their tradition of Balobedu queenship:
All this is allegedly motivated by greed and desire for money. In one letter, Dr. Motshekga stated that he had fundraised from one of the country’s most established businessman using the name of Princess Masalanabo as Rain Queen.
‘Attack by adversaries’
The regent of the Balobedu nation, Mpapatla Modjadji, at a press conference on Monday, said the kingdom was under attack by adversaries.
“Our kingdom has always been under attack by our adversaries and by capturing Princess Masalanabo, they thought they shall have got the kingship on a silver platter.”
The lawyers representing Dr Motshekga say this allegedly defames the characters of Motshekga and his wife, Angie Motshekga.
Other utterances state that the Motshekgas snatched and captured their foster child, Princess Masalanabo, and that they have been going against the foster care order by not letting her visit home.
Prince Mpapatla Modjadji also told members of the media that the Motshekgas are working with the royal family’s adversaries, adding that they even informed them that Princess Masalanabo is being trained on her duties as monarch by some of the alleged adversaries.
Dr Motshekga’s lawyer, Mathews Phosa, says they have given the regent and spokesperson of the royal council, Phetole Mmapeule, three days to retract their statements or face legal action.
“We have sent out letters of demand for the matters that Dr Motshekga raises of defamation of himself and his wife. It’s extreme defamation and whoever was at that press conference and uttered defamatory words, will be sued for R10 million, each one of them, so they learn lessons. They must retract in three days, otherwise, we hammer them.”
Appointment to the throne
Phosa says they also intend to ask the courts to set aside the decision to appoint Prince Lekukela to the throne. He says they are currently busy drafting court papers.
“The second action is to challenge their null and void attempt to mount a coup against the queen-elect. The Tolo Commission identified Masalanabo as the queen-elect. Now, these people, who appeared and tried to nullify this should have at least challenged the review of the commission. They instead try to take the law into their own hands, which is very unacceptable in a constitutional state. From our point of view, we are bringing an application. We are busy writing out the court papers to set aside the attempt to disinherit the queen-elect Masalanabo of her rightful throne.”
In response, Mmapeule says they have noted the letters of demand, but would not be drawn to comment on Motshekga’s intention to challenge the constitutionality of Prince Lekukela’s appointment in court.
“We have seen the letters. We have noted their allegations and we have referred the matter to our legal advisors and they are dealing with the issue. You see, I can’t respond on something which has not been done or on something which is in the process of being done, but what I can say is we stand by our decision that we presented at the press conference.”
The coronation of Prince Lekukela has been scheduled for 1 October 2022.
Adv. Ngoako Moropene on Prince Lekukela being appointed as the leader for the Balobedu nation: