Death stalks Bolobedu royals

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Shortly after burying her nephew a woman chief in Limpopo was shot 11 times and died on the way to hospital.

Mohlao Ramothwala, 65, chief of the Balotswi clan, in Bolobedu, near the Modjadji Royal Palace, was gunned down by unknown assassins on her way back from the funeral.

Residents of Belview village, with a population of about 11000, are shocked by the killing which follows several mysterious deaths involving members of the royal household.

Ramothwala was shot in the head and body. She was rushed to Belview clinic where nurses transferred her to Nkensani Hospital in Giyani. She died on arrival at the hospital.

"The motive for the killing is not known and investigations are continuing," said Bolobedu police spokesman Freddy Maenetja.

Local villagers have accused members of her royal "chamber" of complicity in the killing.

Sources in the royal house told SowetanRamothwala was involved in a royal squabble with her family elders.

They said the feud started when the village chief, Zekere Ramahlo, died last year.

Ramothwala was accused of being responsible for his death.

Matters came to a head last week when Ramothwala's nephew, Albert Maduel Ramahlo, who was a chief-in-waiting, died.

"Ramahlo was walking home after a drinking binge when he fell and broke his legs and spine. He later died in his wheelchair in what villagers suspect was witchcraft related," said the source.

In an interview with Sowetan, Ramothwala's son, Fokoff, was still shocked by his mother's death.

"We know my mother's killers and we are prepared to avenge her death," Fokoff said.

Ramothwala is survived by three daughters and three sons.

The incident comes barely a month after a Kgwekgwe chief in Bolobedu died from drinking poisoned beer.