Ancestral cleansing ritual at Mapungubwe

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Six Limpopo families will today co-host a cleansing ceremony at Mapungubwe World Heritage Site to prepare for the reburial and repatriation of their ancestors who died 75 years ago.

The ceremony would start in the early hours of the morning. Each family would be given a chance to speak to their ancestors on the impending journey to the chosen burial sites.

The remains to be taken on the ancestral journey were exhumed by the Pretoria University in 2000.

The ceremony is also meant to give the families a chance to ask for blessings from the ancestors.

The bones of the three ancestors believed to have been Kings in the area would be laid to rest in the evening, on November 19, in line with custom of burying kings at night at the Mapungubwe Cultural site.

Some of the families who will take part in the ceremony are the Tshihula, Machethe and the Leshiba royal families.

But the reburial ceremony is shadowed by a dark cloud.

The Machethe family, which is one of the strongest royal families that lived on the land, disagrees with the move.

The family claims that the reburial of the ancestors' remains would tamper with the restitution process.