Victory for Ditladi’s young royal

Kabelo Dipholo
BACK ON THE THRONE: Lechedzani and his mother Gareitsane
Justice Moesi tears Task Team report to shreds

Francistown High Court Judge, Justice Bashi Moesi has set aside a decision by the Minister of Local Government, Eric Molale to cancel the recognition of Lechedzani Kemmonye as the rightful heir to the Ditlaldi Chieftainship throne.

Bogosi in Ditladi village was thrown into disarray in 2018 when the heir apparent, Lechedzani, 27, attempted to claim his throne from his aunt Gaobodiwe Gabanakgosi, who had been holding the fort for him following the death of his father, Kemmonye Letamo in 2013.

However, instead of handing the reigns to the young royal as per the initial agreement, Gabanakgosi threw a curveball, claiming her late brother had another son, Kgosietsile Letamo.

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She insisted Kgosietsile was in fact the rightful heir.

The stance was regarded as a betrayal by Lechedzani and his mother, Gareitsane Letamo. It divided the royal house and polarised residents, many of whom were unsure what to believe.

A consensus was reached through the North East Council to send a Task Team comprising three chiefs: Sebangani Mosojani, Thuso Ramokate, Kutlwano Matengu to resolve the issue.

In their submissions to the Minister, the Task Force recommended Kgosietsile be recognised as the heir as his mother was traditionally married to the late chief for five years.

They further stated the marriage to Lechedzani’s mother was solemnized two years after the birth of Kgosietsile, making him the elder son and rightful heir to the throne.

Following these recommendations, Lechedzani was derecognised by the Minister on 31st May 2019, and Kgosietsile was appointed.

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The spurned young royal then took the matter to court under the legal representation of human rights lawyer, Morgan Moseki.

In his ruling, Justice Moesi said it was a mystery as to how the Task Team arrived at some of their conclusions. Moesi directed that oral evidence be heard on the dispute as to whether a marriage union ever existed between the late Kgosi Letamo and Kereeleng Gaolekwe (Kgosietsile’s mother).

“After hearing all the evidence I find that there’s no credible evidence to that end,” said Justice Moesi.

Moesi said Lechedzani was justified to believe that he deserved to see an above-board and transparent consultation process.

“I find that the Task Team’s report is so patently unsubstantiated and misleading,” ruled Justice Moesi before ordering Lechedzani to be appointed as Headman of Record for Ditladi village commencing on 31st May 2019, the date on which Kgosietsile was appointed.

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