Title of king goes to grave with him

Selby Makgotho

Selby Makgotho

The Sekhukhune people will bid farewell to their kgoshikgolo, Rhyne Thulare Sekhukhune III, at the weekend.

Rhyne died in December, but the burial could not take place because the royal family wanted him to be given the title of His Majesty King Sekhukhune III before the burial.

Born on December 22 1946, Rhyne was the first-born son in the senior house of King Thulare II, son of Sekhukhune II.

His mother, Mankopodi, was the most senior in the extended royal family of six wives.

According to the royal norms Rhyne, by virtue of being the first-born son in the senior royal family, became heir to the throne of the Sekhukhune royalty and was subsequently hailed as the king designate, His Majesty Sekhukhune III.

Rhyne attended Glen Cowie Primary School before proceeding to Bopedi Bapedi Secondary School in GaMarishane.

As a future traditional leader, the royal house found it befitting to send him to Boaparankwe College of Chiefs' Sons and Pinagare College in Taung to study administration. He studied law at the University of the North.

However, he could not complete his law studies when he was recalled to take up his leadership position in the tribe.

Unfortunately, he could not take up the reigns because of tribal problems that ensued in the 1960s.

Though he ultimately appeared as a displaced person, he never gave up fighting for his rightful position.

Owing to the continued tussle over the crown that plagued the royal house for 33 years, Rhyne died with the matter still unresolved.

The royal family this week said they would continue to fight and make the necessary presentations before the ongoing commission of enquiry on traditional leadership claims and disputes, which is led by Thandabantu Nhlapo.

King Sekhukhune III was a staunch member of the International Pentecostal Holy Spirit Church.

At the time of his death he was elevated to the position of priest and lay preacher in the church.

He is survived by four wives and 14 children.

The burial takes place at the Mohlaletse Royal Cemetery on Sunday morning.

Funeral proceedings will start at 7.30am at the royal palace.