Mphahlele royal war over funds drags on
Lawyers for the Mphahlele Royal Council have lodged an appeal against a ruling made by the Polokwane High Court in favour of the Bakgaga ba ga Mphahlele Traditional Authority.
The Council went to court to ask that it force the Traditional Authority to appoint a new curator to manage community funds. They also wanted the reigning regent Kgošigadi Ngwanamohube Phatudi-Mphahlele removed. They said this would lead to more transparency regarding the management of public funds and fingered her as an obstacle to this development.
The Council accused Phatudi-Mphahlele of corruption and misappropriation of funds claiming that a sum of R2million had gone missing from the community’s purse. They accused Phatudi-Mphahlele and her son Malekutu Phatudi-Mphahlele of using R200 000 from the Mphahlele Community Development Trust Account to purchase fuel for their private cars.
They also accused them of failing to perform community duties and asked the court to freeze the Trust’s account. Phatudi-Mphahlele was also accused of selling mining rights belonging to the Mphahlele Community Development Trust to the owners of Dithabeng mining company.
However, lawyers for Phatudi-Mphahlele argued that it was clear that the Council was pushing its own agenda, saying it has a personal vendetta against the her and Malekutu. They also argued that applicants did not have substantive evidence to support the claims of corruption.
Following submissions by both parties, the court ruled in Phatudi-Mphahlele’s favour. The case was dismissed with costs.
Nkokolo Mphahlele of the Royal Council said that they had already instructed their legal team to file an appeal.
“I can confirm that our legal representatives have applied for an appeal following the court judgment. We will provide the court with new evidence and until the judgment is passed in the appeal, we demand that the Trust’s account be frozen,” he said.
He concluded that they will also apply for an interdict to have the Chrome Mine Dithabaneng to be closed. He said the community is not satisfied with promises made by mine officials.
Residents in communities such as Sefalaolo and Seleteng have protested to demand that the mine must create jobs and build roads in the area.
Kgošigadi Ngwanamohube PhatudiMphahlele.