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Uncle welcomes court's verdict

By unknown | Jun 06, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

The guilty verdict imposed on the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela's flamboyant Chief Nyalala Molefe Pilane in the Mogwase regional court this week is the right recipe for removing him, says his uncle Matlapeng John Pilane.

He was reacting after magistrate Stefaan du Toit had found Nyalala, 46, guilty of 18 counts of fraud and theft totalling R38 million.

His co-accused, Koos Motshegwa, 46, was also found guilty of stealing R10000 that belonged to the tribe.

Du Toit will hand down sentence on August 7. Bail of R2000 each has been extended.

Matlapeng Pilane is a member of the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela royal house, which has been calling for the axing of the chief and his entire tribal council.

It was Matlapeng Pilane who blew the whistle, accusing his nephew of embezzling tribal funds. This resulted in the asset forfeiture unit attaching 14 of Nyalala's farms, vehicles, game and livestock, and also freezing all his bank accounts.

The royal house wrote to North West Premier Edna Molewa asking her to remove Nyalala from the chieftaincy.

Molewa declined, saying the chief was innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

"Now that the guilty verdict has been pronounced by a magistrate we want the premier to act and remove this man," Matlapeng said.

The royal house has been in talks with Chief Molopyane Mabe, provincial chairman of the House of Traditional Leaders in North West, about having Nyalala removed.

Mabe said this week: "We are still studying the verdict, especially now that Chief Pilane has been found guilty by an authentic court of law."

Sowetan could get no response from the premier's office.

The royal house has accused Nyalala of attending to tribal matters without a mandate, enriching himself and his cronies and of bringing the tribe's name into disrepute.

The house also alleged that the chief went into business with C and L Mining Resources without consulting the tribe.


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