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MASHOBENI – While the Border Restoration Committee (BRC) is working round the clock to retain Swazi land that was lost to South Africa during the colonial era, the kingdom has a case to answer in a South African court for allegedly interfering in a chieftaincy dispute in that country.

It is said the country was fined E100 000, a ruling which the kingdom’s government is appealing in the Pretoria High Court in South Africa.
The Mashobeni community in northern Hhohho is torn following a chieftaincy dispute that has been dragging for over 10 years now. What seems to have exacerbated the situation is that one faction presented its candidate, Chief Matsafeni Norman Shongwe, to the Swazi authorities as the rightful chief of both Mashobeni and the land stretching beyond our borders in Schoemansdal, South Africa.

Mashobeni’s indlunkhulu (traditional headquarters) is in the land which was lost to South Africa and their chief has always been based that side while his indvuna and sub-committee on the Swazi side (sagila) administrate the Mashobeni chiefdom in the kingdom.

However, it later transpired that another Chief, Mduduzi Shongwe, was registered with the South African administration as the rightful chief of the land in South Africa (Matsamo Tribal Authority), something which automatically endorsed him as the authority of Mashobeni, according to the other faction.


It is said, however, that did not deter Chief Matsafeni Shongwe, who is also based in South Africa, from exercising his authority with his faction at Mashobeni. His faction argued that he was the rightful authority over Mashobeni and was the one who was presented and blessed by Their Majesties in the Kingdom, despite that he allegedly has no authority over the land in South Africa where the Mashobeni Headquarters is.

As such, residents of Mashobeni have been torn following the chieftaincy dispute. Chief Dambuza Lukhele, one of the delegation members who heard the matter when the two factions contested against each other, described the case as a very complicated one as it involved cross-border chiefs.

Chief Dambuza said the matter was still being deliberated within the relevant structures and that getting into the finer details of the case would be cumbersome as the case has dragged on for too long. 
“However, we are aware of what is going on there and as far as we are concerned, the matter has not yet been resolved about the legitimacy of the rightful chief because there is the element of process when it comes to installing the chief, something which also forms part of the matter,” said Chief Dambuza.

Comments (1 posted):

themba mkhatshwa on 25/02/2016 19:11:59
It's said families fight against each other for something that belong to either of the them...the truth remain in tribal council...the elders both South Africa and Swaziland..the question remains as " How long should one Remain as Paramount King of the Matsamo.swazi people? and how long should the Tsonga/ Amathonga chieftains Remain untold..?

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