The Midweek Sun


Bakhurutsh­e Chief denied customary kraal burial starts process to have Land Board designate Kgotla Kraal as royal cemetery He was a true custodian of Sekhurutsh­e cultural norms and values and loved us all. His reign was not marked by any civil strife and


The Bakhurutsh­e royals are still reeling in shock after government forced them to bury former Tonota Chief Ramosinyi Rapiditse at John Phoko Cemetery instead of in a kraal as per their culture. Radipitse died on the 8th August 2023 and according to one of the royal family members Mmusi Mmusi, a few hours before his burial, a court order landed at the royal house.

Burial was scheduled for the 13th August 2023 and in the evening of 12 August, the court order was delivered to them, the contents of which suggested that they cannot bury Radipitse inside a kraal at Molebatsi ward because the kraal wasn’t designated as a royal cemetery. The contents of the court order were delivered through Peter Williams of Tonota Sub Land board, saying that authority was not obtained to bury the late chief according to their custom.

Shocked as they were, they decided to obey government instructio­ns and proceeded to dig another grave for Radipitse at John Phoko Cemetery. Mmusi told this publicatio­n that all royals including Kgosi Radipitse’s forefather­s being Rauwe Sekoko, were buried inside the kraal in 1918, his grandfathe­r Ramosinyi Sekoko was also buried there in 1936 while his father Radipitse Pontsho Sekoko was buried in 1981. It is only Dikgosi that are buried in the Kgotla

kraal. As per tradition, Ramosinyi Radipitse was supposed to be buried next to them but now he lies in a different place. The royal family is not sure who went to court to complain but they suspect it was the doings of Williams. Mmusi said that they did not choose to fight because as leaders they have to behave in a manner which is exemplary to members of the society. This is why they have begun processes to ensure that Molebatsi ward where other royals have been buried is registered as a royal cemetery to avoid their Dikgosi being buried elsewhere as it happened with Kgosi Radipitse. When contacted, Williams washed his hands clean of the matter saying he never delivered any court order to the royal family. “I was only at the royal home during the day for memorial service and left. I only heard of the court order at a later stage. I believe some of our officers delivered the letter,” Williams said. He added that he was only an assistant to Tonota Sub Land Board Chairperso­n. “Maybe you can get more clarity from the chairman,” he advised. When contacted, Tonota Sub Land Board Chairperso­n Winami Masalila said she could not comment on the matter and that her superiors, Ngwato Sub Land Board should instead be contacted. She even promised to share contacts of the right person to contact, but by press time, Masalila had not done so and her phone rang unanswered. Radipitse was installed Kgosi ya Bakhurutse in 1983 and he retired in 2016. He was succeeded by his eldest son who is the reigning Chief of Tonota, Bokamoso Radipitse.

Mmusi described Radipitse as a visionary leader who had a gift of maintainin­g peace among his people and resolving customary disputes in Tonota and its jurisdicti­on areas. “He was a true custodian of Sekhurutsh­e cultural norms and values and loved us all. His reign was not marked by any civil strife and Bakhurutsh­e earned respect among other Batswana because of his great leadership,” he said.

 ?? ?? Chief Ramosinyi Rapiditse
Chief Ramosinyi Rapiditse

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