Key players leave council

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

The Modjadji Royal Council is witnessing an exodus of its top personnel.

Deputy chairman John Malatji recently announced his resignation amid continued tension within the royal family.

Malatji, former registrar of the then University of the North and former director-general of Limpopo's provincial government, tendered his resignation at the same time as acting regent Mpapatla Modjadji, who resigned as chairman.

This happened a few weeks after the Modjadji community imbizo, held at Mokwakwaila in Bolobedu, outside Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo, which Malatji did not attend.

Speculation has it that Malatji, who was regarded as one of the powerful members of the royal council, had "an unhealthy relationship" with the regent and some members of the royal council "on certain issues" involving the council.

A source within the royal family, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Sowetan that the relationship between Malatji, the regent and certain members of the council turned sour about two months ago.

Modjadji Royal Council spokesman Clement Modjadji confirmed that Malatji had tendered his resignation.

But he declined to say anything because only the regent had the authority to speak on such matters.

"We hope the regent will call a meeting to discuss Malatji's resignation at a later stage - and that is when council members will be briefed on the development that led to his departure," he said.

Malatji could not be reached for comment.

Some members of the royal family have expressed shock at Malatji's departure

They say they saw him as one of the key members of the royal council.