“I don’t rule with royal family members,” says Thovhele Makuya (left). Tshifularo Makuya-Muthige (right), the khadzi, says she and other family members will do their best to stop the ‘illegal appointments of traditional leaders’ at Ha-Makuya. Pictures: Ndivhuwo Musetha.
A royal feud has erupted within the family structures of the Makuya royal family, following the installation of a new traditional leader for Mushavhedzi village.
The feud is between the royal family members of Ha-Makuya and Thovhele Lavhelesani Ntsweteni Ronald Makuya over the appointment of Esther Mmboneni Netshivhongweni. She was appointed as new traditional leader, serving under Ha-Makuya, apparently “without the family’s consent”.
According to Tshifularo Makuya-Muthige, who is the khadzi to Thovhele Makuya, the feud has been simmering silently within the family for quite some time. Tensions started building, following a report that appeared in the Limpopo Mirror last month.
In the article titled “Netshivhongweni is the new head of heraldry”, Esther Mmboneni Netshivhongweni is quoted as saying that she had been installed as traditional leader for Mushavhedzi village by Thovhele Makuya on February 26 this year.
This statement angered the family members, led by Makuya-Muthige, who said Netshivhongweni “was never installed as the new traditional leader of that village”. Makuya-Muthige said that the family members confronted Thovhele Makuya about the alleged installation of Netshivhongweni, but the Thovhele disputed that he had done this.
“We had several meetings with Thovhele. Although he confirmed that Netshivhongweni had never been installed, he did confirm that he had single-handedly appointed Netshivhongweni as the traditional leader of Mushavhedzi,” said Makuya-Muthige.
In an interview Limpopo Mirror conducted with Thovhele Makuya at his royal kraal at Ha-Makuya, he confirmed that he had appointed Netshivhongweni as the new traditional leader for Mushavhedzi “as another way of rewarding her for the good work she is doing to the royal family as an advisor to me, Thovhele.”
“It is true that I have appointed Netshivhongweni as a new traditional leader for this area that did not have a leader for many years. It is also true that Netshivhongweni is not part of our royal family, but everywhere in this country, even abroad, as Thovhele, I have powers to appoint whoever I want to appoint as a traditional leader in any of my villages, as long as I see it fit,” he said.
Thovhele Makuya said he had decided to reward Netshivhongweni by making her a traditional leader of this village because of the valuable contributions she was making in this area. “I do not rule with members of the royal family, and I do not have to consult with them for any decision that I make,” said Thovhele Makuya.
He said that he had not staged a formal coronation function when he had installed Netshivhongweni and other traditional leaders he had appointed, because of the Covid-19 restrictions. However, he said that he hoped that the traditional leaders he had appointed, including Netshivhongweni, would be confirmed by Coghsta and get paid soon.
Meanwhile, Makuya-Muthige is adamant that “royal family members will do everything in their power to stop the unlawful appointments of traditional leaders at Ha-Makuya”.
Gumani Makuya, the spokesperson for the royal family, said that he was not aware of the installation of Netshivhongweni. “I confronted Thovhele about this matter and he disputed it. Netshivhongweni is telling people about her coronation, but that is not true. She also built some structures at that village, Mushavhedzi, but she does not stay there,” said the spokesperson.
Date:17 July 2021 - By: Ndivhuwo Musetha