Mpumalanga MEC accused of siding with faction in royal dispute 

The Mpumalanga department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs has been accused of dragging its feet in addressing the leadership dispute in the Hoxani Traditional Council, which is based just a few kilometres away from Mkhuhlu in Bushbuckridge. 

At the centre of the dispute, are the Mkhukhumba royal family and the Matikwana royal house, who are the descendants of the Nkuna clan that ruled the Hoxani area for a very long time. 

The dispute ensued soon after Chief Madala Nkuna, who hails from the Matikwana Royal House, died last year in January. 

The Mkhukhumba family, which claims it is the rightful owner of the throne, alleges that Cogta MEC Mandla Msibi and the head of the department Samkelo Ngubane started to slow down the pace of the investigation after realising that evidence was going against their preferred faction. 

“In trying to address the leadership dispute, the department was approached early last year, and meetings were held concerning the matter,” said Mthokozisi Nkuna, a representative of the Mkhukhumba family.  

“We were called to present the evidence, which we did, but when we needed the outcome of that investigation, we were not given straight answers.  

“Premier Refiloe Mtshweni-Tsipane also failed to r solve this problem.”  

Nkuna said the evidence they submitted included that the Matikwana family’s representative was installed as a regent in the early 1970s, but instead of handing over the throne to the rightful leader who was not from his family, he decided to keep it within his family.  

Sunday World has seen the letters exchanged between the affected family and the department. 

During his policy and budget speech in June, Msibi said the Hoxani Tribal Authority leadership dispute “would beaddressed within three months”. 

Head of department Samkelo Ngubane confirmed the Mkhukhumba family approached the department to intervene in the dispute.  

He said the last meeting on the matter was held in July. 

“The meeting heard a variety of claims by a variety of groups on record, some disputing the claims by either house.”  

“It became apparent to MEC Msibi that all emerging houses pushed for a claim to the throne and that there was no unanimous voice as to the status, which is one of the apparent reasons why the status quo is being challenged only after the senior traditional leader has passed on,” said Ngubane. 

He said Msibi was compiling a report in consultation with the Provincial House of Traditional and Khoisan leaders.  

He said the report would be submitted to Mtsweni-Tsipane by the end of next month. 

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