The royal eviction

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A new legal tussle has erupted between the country's first female chief, Felia Lwandlamuni N'wamitwa, and her implacable family foe, Sydwell N'wamitwa.

This time Felia wants cousin Sydwell and his family to be evicted from the Royal Kraal and to go and live outside like commoners.

The contentious decision was recently taken by the Royal Kraal during a meeting that excluded Sydwell.

According to Felia the decision to evict her cousin was informed by the traditions and customs of the Valoyi tribe, which stipulates that when a new chief is installed relatives have to live with the rest of the community.

An attorney representing the Valoyi tribe, Fofoza N'wamitwa, said yesterday that Sydwell had caused "nothing but trouble" since the death of his father in 2002.

N'wamitwa said the decision to evict Sydwell was taken because of his unruly behaviour towards the royal family after demanding that he, and not his female cousin, be installed as chief.

"In December 2006 Sydwell locked up the tribal offices and closed the gate leading to the offices.

"He also barred all employees from setting foot in the offices for about three weeks.

"The following week he called an urgent meeting of all the indunas of the area without first getting permission from the royal house and council," N'wamitwa said.

"At the meeting he announced himself the new chief of the Valoyi tribe.

"As if that was not enough, he disrupted a banquet at the Royal Kraal after the Constitutional Court ruled that Felia was the rightful chief."

Sydwell's spokesman, Ishmael Risiva, has called the move to have him evicted "barbaric".

Risiva said Felia was a law unto herself and "thinks she owns the whole world".

Yesterday lawyers representing the two parties met but the case was postponed when the magistrate failed to arrive.