FIGHT FOR LANGUAGE

THE commission for the protection and promotion of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities will today consider a request by the Balobedu clan to make Khelovedu the 12th official language.

THE commission for the protection and promotion of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities will today consider a request by the Balobedu clan to make Khelovedu the 12th official language.

The commission met more than 120 headmen, authors, the royal family, senior council members and ward councillors at the Mokwakwaila Community Hall.

Spokesperson for the Khelovedu language project Phetole Mampeule said the commission's visit comes after the Balobedu wrote to the commission requesting that Khelovedu be made the 12th official language in South Africa.

Mampeule said the Balodzwi, comprising half of the population of Limpopo, were deprived of their rights to language.

He claimed they were forced to speak and write foreign languages in their land of birth.

He said the pass rate of children in matric had also decreased dramatically in recent years because all pupils were forced to translate Khelovedu, their mother tongue, into Sepedi during exams.

"We expect our children to speak and write the same language," he said.

Famous Khelovedu author Prince Mahlakahlaka Molewa said children often comprehended better when they used their mother tongue to write and speak.

Molewa said the Khelovedu language project had already developed and modified the language in order for children to use it in their classrooms.

He said the Balobedu were found in Bolobedu, Mamaila, Kolobetona, Phalaborwa, Botlokwa and Sekororo, with a population of not less than two million people.

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