National 27.7.2016 06:00 am

Des van Rooyen ‘anointed wrong rain queen’

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen. Picture: GCIS

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen. Picture: GCIS

There were ructions yesterday when relatives of the royal family claimed new Rain Queen Modjadji VII is a commoner.

Yesterday, relatives of the Modjadji royal family claimed that the new Rain Queen, Modjadji VII, is a commoner.

The Mokoto royal family, which is related to the Modjadjis, has accused Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen of bestowing the queenship to someone not of royal blood. The Citizen has seen a copy of a letter by Paul-Leisher and Associates, representing the Mokoto family, to the house of traditional leaders and Ralushai Commission, in which the family claim the royal title of the Modjadji dynasty.

The family told The Citizen yesterday that Masalanabo Modjadji was not of royal blood. Masalanabo is the daughter of the late Queen Modjadji VI and former greater Letaba municipal mayor David Mogale.

The 11-year-old girl is at a boarding school in Johannesburg in Grade 5. At the time of her mother’s death in 2005, her uncle, Prince Mpapatla Modjadji, was crowned regent of the Balobedu clan.

“Come hell or high water, she will not ascend the throne as queen,” said Reuphus Mokoto yesterday.

Another disgruntled family member, who is also a leader of the Mokoto family, Herold Mokoto, branded the awarding of the title a “despicable and disgusting affair”.

“We cannot be led by a commoner. The child is being used by the Modjadjis as their cash cow,” he said. “The dynasty of the Modjadji belongs to the Mokotos. The last King of the Modjadji clan is my grandfather, Wailess Mokoto, who died in 1962. Soon after his death, the family decided to coronate Mokope as a regent because my father Refus was still young.

“When Makoma died in 1978, she was succeeded by her daughter, Mokope, who died in 1980. Mokope was then succeeded by her daughter, Makobo, who died in 2005. All those were regents and not queens.”

The rain queen’s grandmother, Julia Mabale, branded claims by the Mokotos “garbage and misleading”. Mabale said the new rain queen was breastfed by a royal ruler and that her father, David, was a close relative of the Mokotos, which also makes him royalty.

Masalanabo became Modjadji Rain Queen VII yesterday.

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