Royal dispute leaves poor Families hungry

A PROTRACTED FEUD between the Mamadi royal family in Blouberg and a ward councillor has resulted in poor families going hungry for days.

About 25 families in Taaibosch village in the Capricorn district municipality have had to depend on handouts after Chief Lucas Mamadi interdicted local ANC ward councillor David Sematla.

Sematla, pictured, was in charge of handing out food parcels from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to the community.

But since Sunday Sematla, his son Don and 27 other villagers have been interdicted by Mamadi from taking part in any community matters.

Sematla has also been forbidden to arrange community meetings, take part in community activities or set foot on any property owned by the royal family.

The group led by Sematla and his son had gone to the chief's royal house and demanded his immediate removal from the community.

This was after the chief "failed" to account for R225 000 he had collected from the villagers in cahoots with the Babirwa ba ga Mamadi Cooperative.

The money was allegedly collected from each household to "pay" a lawyer to buy a piece of fertile land (Donfanna) from a local farmer.

The Sematlas and the incensed community members "threatened" to close the royal property and demanded the chief's removal.

Sematla, who has also been suspended from the ANC, yesterday confirmed receiving the interdict.

Christina Nare, a mother of four, said since the rift between the chief and ward councillor she and her family has gone hungry.

But Sematla said he was not prepared to smoke the peace pipe with the chief unless he hands over the money he collected.

The chief's spokesperson, Pheneas Kopa, said those interdicted were "growing too big for their shoes".

He said they called themselves the "Taaibosch Development Forum" and have threatened the chief and held meetings at places forbidden by the chief, resulting in the chief applying the law.