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Chief's case thrown out of Mmabatho court

By unknown | Mar 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

The Mmabatho high court has thrown out an attempt by controversial Chief Nyalala Pilane to block tomorrow's mass meeting of the BakgatlaBa-Kgafela planned to announce his suspension.

Judge Leah Gcabashe ruled that there was no urgency in the matter in which Nyalala sought to stop the royal house from going ahead with the meeting to announce his ousting.

The applicants in the matter included Nyalala and the traditional council of Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela.

The respondents were David Mpule Pheto, Segale Pilane, Thari Pilane, Matlapeng John Pilane, Community Property Association and the Concerned Bakgatla Anti-Corruption Organisation.

Tomorrow's meeting, scheduled for Moruleng Stadium in Saulspoort, North West, has been called by members of the royal house to inform the 350000 tribesmen from 32 villages of the decision to suspend the chief.

This follows the royal house's decision last month to suspend Nyalala because he conducted the tribe's affairs as his own, failed to consult other chiefs on serious matters, enriched himself using the tribe's assets and because of the current theft, fraud and corruption charges he is facing.

In a bitter spat this week Nyalala issued a statement on Motsweding FM referring to his suspension as "useless".

"I cannot be suspended by a bunch of people who are but anarchists who are against development," he said.

Nyalala boasted that he was inaugurated by the late paramount Kgosi Lenchwe II of Botswana as a legitimate chief of the Bakgatla in 1997 and no one could tell him to step down.

In retaliation Kgosi Segale Pilane from the royal house said members of the house were members by virtue of their birth and not because Nyalala so wished.

"Nyalala has a misguided perception that he is senior in the royal house and that he can determine, as and when he wishes, who should constitute the royal house,'' he said.

The decision to suspend Nyalala was forwarded to the office of North West Premier Edna Molewa.

But Molewa's office this week issued a statement saying the chief was innocent until proven guilty in court.

He faces 46 charges, including two of defrauding the Land Bank of R27million, one of corruption and three of theft.

His councillor, Koos Shimane Motshegwa, is accused of stealing R100000 from the tribe.

They are to appear in the Mogwase magistrate's court on March 31.


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