The United Christian Democratic Party learnt with great awe about the deaths of three Traditional Leaders in the space of a week, namely Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mabalane of the Baphiring Traditional Authority, Kgosi Tsiepe of the Balete Traditional Authority, both of the North West Province and King Maxhoba’ayakhawuleza Zanesizwe Sandile of the Eastern Cape.
It is a hard time for the tribes they were leading. The loss of a father in a family is something very difficult to live over but for a tribe or community is also very difficult as life sort of comes to a standstill.
Provision and delivery of services suffer as the community tends and attends to the next of kin of their leader who, in all probabilities in our belief has been called to higher services.
The motto of the North West House of Traditional Leaders is:”thebe ya setso” which means, “the shield of culture”. We are at a loss as to who will shield our culture when these custodians have departed
Kgosi Tsiepe was a man known for his quiet disposition. A man of few words who kept to himself but when he came to speak the few words he would utter would always pave the way to a solution.
The Ba-Malete ba ga Mokgojoa at Lekgophung have always stood by their Kgosi through thick and thin. It is unfortunate that he died in this climate.
Kgosi Mabalane on the other hand served in his earlier life as a teacher at Herman Thebe High School, and then served as an administrator in the Department of Urban Affairs in the erstwhile Bophuthatswana Government. He later stood in as Kgosi of the Baphiring Tribe for the son of his late brother.
Mabalane served not only the tribal community but the region as well. His leadership qualities manifested themselves when he was elected as deputy chair in the North West provincial House of Traditional Leaders.
He served as chairman of the working committee on Land Affairs and Agriculture in the House Traditional Leaders.
The two dikgosi served as members of parliament at one time or another in former Bophuthatswana.
In his last days Mabalane was a business man of note but above all he was highly religious.
Inkosi Sandile was in his prime at age 54 though he battled with kidney problems for some time. He fell victim to the Nhlapo Commission which ruled that his tribe AmaRharhabe were not legitimate and did not qualify for the status of a King.
We lament the deaths of these great men. We note that this is really a winter of despair for the communities they led and lived in.
As the UCDP we hold traditional leadership in very highly and feel for the provinces that have lost leaders in these days when leadership is in great need. Our hearts go out to the tribes that have lost their “fathers” but above all the families of these fallen men will remain in our prayers.
Sent by: Sipho Mfundisi