Bangwaketse oppose coronation of Bahurutshe Chief
Bangwaketse Paramount Chief Malope II and Kebinatshwene Mosielele – the son of late Manyana Village Chief, Mareko Mosielele – are locked in a bitter dispute over the latter’s wish to be adorned in traditional leopard skin during his official coronation in August.
Addressing a meeting at Kanye Main Kgotla last Wednesday, Kgosi Malope asked the community for their views on the matter.
The overwhelming response was that the young Mosielele would not get his wish.
Village elder Kesegofaditswe Mmotsi voiced the feelings of many in the gathering when he noted that it was not standard procedure to have two chiefs wear leopard skin in Ngwaketse land.
“Kebinatshwene should grab his passport and cross the border back to South Africa where his people originate and he will get to wear his leopard skin at his coronation – here it is never happening,” he said firmly.
Similarly, retired Kanye Chief Representative, Goboletswe Ketsitlile reminded attendants that, “Letlalo la nkwe le aparwa ke Kgosi ee nang le mokgosi le lehatshe (A leopard skin is worn by a chief with a strong standing in the society and has land.)
“Adorning Bahurutshe Ba-Ga-Manyana Chief in leopard skin is a sensitive issue that needs thorough consultation by concerned parties,” continued Ketsitlile, adding that the late Mosielele was never officially installed as Bahurutshe chief and he is shocked that his son now wants that recognition.
A concerned Ketsitlile stressed that Kebinatshwene could never be installed as chief while living on Malope II’s land.
He explained that Bahurutshe Ba-Ga- Manyana are not natives of Ngwaketse land because they fled famine from South Africa and were given refuge by the late Kgosi Seepapitso in Manyana.
The respected tribal elder added that there were certain qualities considered before the process but would not elaborate on this.
Equally speaking, another village Chief Kitso Kelosiwang highlighted that there can never be two chiefs in one land and that the dispute calls for a clear description of duties.
He advised that both tribes’ cultures should be protected from one another such that none is oppressed.
Ketsitlile and Kelosiwang’s’s sentiments echoed through the meeting that since the Bahurutshe tribe originates in South Africa, they cannot coronate their chief in leopard print as that practice is reserved for the Paramount Chief, Malope II who has already gone through the process.
Bahurutshe-Ba-Manyana’s Kgosi Mosielele confirmed the tribal impasse with Bangwaketse royals and told The Voice in an interview that his coronation will continue as planned.
“The only slight change is that the ceremony has been postponed to September 2nd because of the delayed consultations,” he said.
Mosielele whose father was draped in leopard skin at his coronation in 1957 said he too was supposed to go through the same traditional ritual in 2010 when he took over from his father.
“In our culture a chief gets draped in leopard skin after his predecessor passes on, but at the time my father was still alive and he died in 2016,” he said.
The tension with Bangwaketse royals, Mosielele says, started last week after he sent a delegation to invite them for the planned ceremony.
“We are all Batswana from different tribes. Bahurutshe have their own culture and have the right to observe their traditional rites including crowning their Chief according to their own traditional customs. We are not Bangwaketse,” he said.
For his part Bangwaketse Paramount Chief, Malope II, confirmed that he held a meeting with Bangwaketse tribal elders on Monday 27th March to discuss a way forward on the matter.
He clarified that he has since excused himself from the matter as he does not have the jurisdiction to pass judgement on issues that affect him or the chieftaincy directly.
“I have handed this issue over to Bangwaketse, I trust the elders will make the best decision for all people involved,” he said.