Modjadji royals push for language

10 December 2008 - 02:00
By unknown

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The Modjadji royal family and its council have reiterated their call - first made in 1996 - for the Khelovedu language to be recognised as South Africa's 12th official language.

The regent of the Balobedu clan, Prince Mpapatla Modjadji, said he anticipated a high failure rate among the 40 000 matriculants in Bolobedu high schools this year because they were forced to write in Sepedi.

"This is not a war. All we want is our language to be recognised for the benefit of our children's future. Our children had been constantly failing matric just because they can not write a foreign language," he said

Modjadji said the request was brought to the attention of the Pan African Language Board and the National Department of Education in 1996.

It went to the constitution court and a Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Culture, Religion and Linguistic Community was appointed by former President Thabo Mbeki to research Selobedu.

The finding was that Selobedu was a dialect of Sesotho sa Lebowa, like Setlokwa and Sepulana.

Modjadji has held a three-hour meeting with ANC leader Jacob Zuma about the issue .