The royal family of the Barolong Boo Seleka traditional community of Thaba ’Nchu was granted a historic order in their favour by the Supreme Court of Appeal today. The royal family was supported by AfriForum in their application for leave to appeal and this appeal case.
This follows a dispute group came into existence after the royal family had appointed Kgosatsana (Princess) Moipone Moroka as successor to her brother, the late Kgosi Gaopalelwe Moroka, as Kgosi after his passing away. The group was allegedly disgruntled with the appointment of a woman in this senior traditional leadership position.
Ace Magashule, former Premier of the Free State, then instructed the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims to investigate the matter. During the investigation the dispute group changed the grounds of their objection and argued that the leadership claim of the ruling royal family was invalid, based on the alleged wrongful succession of Kgosi Moroka II by Kgosi Tshipinare in 1880, more than 140 years ago. Based on a very deficient report by the Commission, Magasule decided to end the leadership of the ruling royal family of the Barolong Boo Seleka, which resulted in the legal battle.
The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that:
- The appeal is upheld with costs.
- The findings and recommendations of the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims concerning the senior traditional leadership position of the Barolong Boo Seleka are reviewed and set aside.
- The decision of the Premier of the Free State accepting the findings and recommendations of the Commission is reviewed and set aside.
The Premier of the Free State was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.
“Some believe in chariots, we believed and still believe in God. We give Him the glory of this victory. It has been a very sad and painful journey but the God of justice prevailed! We have won the long battle for our Chieftaincy. We are shedding tears of joy, we are at loss of words to thank AfriForum for their support during this challenging time,” says kgosatsana Gabo Moroka, spokesperson for the Royal Family.
“This case proves that cultural communities can seek the good and beautiful in the past, and then use that wisdom of our ancestors and build a future together. Kgosi Moroka II helped the Afrikaners when we were in dire straits in the 1830’s, he was also an important ally and friend in the decades after that. It is a privilege for AfriForum to reconnect with old friends and support the same royal family in their time of need,” says Barend Uys, Head of Intercultural Relations and Cooperation at AfriForum.
The case further set an important legal precedent relating to the authority of the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims.