Was Bolobedu chief poisoned?

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The Modjadji royal family in Bolobedu, Limpopo, is spitting fire after the mysterious death of a local chief on Tuesday after drinking suspected poisoned beer.

Spokesman for the royal family Clement Modjadji said the family was saddened by the death of Chief Maropeng Mahasha, of Kgwekgwe village, in Bolobedu south.

He died a few hours after drinking alcohol with his "friends" at a local beer hall.

According to Modjadji, Mahasha, 65, had gone to collect his pension money at a pay-point in the neighbouring Relela village.

"Before going to the pay-point, he asked two of his drinking buddies to accompany him but they refused, claiming to be ill," explained Modjadji.

He said Mahasha left alone and came back to find those men at a beer hall, drinking alcohol. The men's names are known to Sowetan.

Mahasha joined them in drinking.

"Mahasha apparently left his half-empty beer to answer a call of nature.

"When he returned he continued drinking," said Modjadji, who added that shortly thereafter, Mahasha left to go home. "But he did not reach his destination," he said.

Modjadji said Mahasha complained of stomach pains and then collapsed.

Sympathetic villagers carried him home but he died on arrival.

Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said police have opened an inquest docket.

Mahasha will be buried tomorrow at the Kgwekgwe Cemetery .