Claim to Vhavenda kingship is dismissed
KING Azwidohwi Nephawe Tshidziwelele has lost his bid to strip Chief Toni Mphephu Ramabulana of the Vhavenda kingship.
The matter was heard in the Pretoria High Court yesterday.
Tshidziwelele had claimed that he was the great-grandson of King Thovhele Tshidziwelele III, who was assassinated between 1759 and 1800, and the son of King Mafanedza Nephawe, and that he was entitled to succeed his father in terms of Vhavenda custom.
Tshidziwelele said he was of the Vhangona royal family, who he said had founded the Vhavenda nation. He said Vhangona were deprived of their kingship through various wars and successive apartheid laws.
He said the Mphephu's Masingo tribe had arrived in Venda in the 1750s.
They had included the fore-bears and members of the Ramabulana communities, and others who were absorbed into the Vhangona communities - as refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims had ruled in January 2010 that the rightful king of the Vhavenda nation was Toni Mphephu Ramabulana.
Tshidziwelele then filed an application for a review and called for the setting aside of the commission's decision.
In his judgment yesterday, Judge Frans Legodi said the Vhangona were also not Vhavenda-born and bred, but had come from "somewhere in Mapungubwe", before they had established themselves in Venda as the first inhabitants.
"Inasmuch as Tshidziwelele might have thought the issue of the position of the incumbent to the kingship was relevant, it was not," Legodi said.
"President Jacob Zuma issued a statement that two kingship/queenship have also been recognised, but the commission must still decide who the two rightful incumbents are ... Mphephu and another - who will still be decided."
King Kennedy Midiyavhathu Tshivhase is also laying a claim to the kingship.