Coronation of confusion
WILL HE, WON'T HE? Mosielele is adamant he will wear the leopard skin


Riddled with uncertainty and speculation, the build-up to Chief Kebinatshewene Mosielele’s coronation has not gone smoothly.

Indeed, on the eve of the historic event, confusion continues to overshadow the Bahurutshe-boo-Manyana Chief’s big day.

Rumours suggest that Bangwaketse Paramount Chief, Malope II, who is listed on the itinerary’s programme as a chief advisor, will snub Saturday’s proceedings and stay away.

Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday, Malope II stressed that the Bangwaketse are against the ceremony, which they have been trying to stop since it was announced earlier this year.

“Ga re dumalane (we are against it)” he said, noting that Kebinatshwene’s father, Kgosi Mareko Mosielele, was never sworn in wearing leopard skin regalia.

“As far as I know O nyatsa Bangwaketse (he belittles us) because even his father’s coffin was not draped in leopard skin, a testament that he was never coronated in leopard skin,” he continued furiously.

Malope’s strong words come after an unseemly, drawn out disagreement between the two chiefs over Mosielele’s desire to wear the leopard skin during his coronation.

Mosielele believes wearing the skin signifies he is the true chief of his people, whilst Malope and the Bangwaketse elders insist he cannot, arguing that there can only be one chief who wears a leopard print in Ga-Ngwaketse.

Coronation of confusion
FRUSTRATIONS: Letter of demand

The drama escalated on Tuesday, when Government officials knocked at Mosielele’s door, demanding he return the leopard and lion skins they had given him to perform the coronation.

This followed a letter the Manyana royals had received the previous day, sent from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, informing them the offer of the two skins had been withdrawn.

The letter instructed the Manyana chieftaincy to hand the animal skins over to wildlife officers, because of the disagreement the Bahurutshe and Bangwaketse have over Moiselele’s coronation.

However, the four wildlife officers sent to retrieve the skins returned empty handed as Mosielele refused to give in to the ministry’s demands.

“I will only return the animal skins through a High Court order,” he told The Voice defiantly.

“I did not steal these skins, I legally requested them and they were granted,” he continued, adding that the skins were raw and so have been sent to a tannery for preparation.

Despite the controversy, Saturday’s coronation, which will be held at Manyana Main Kgotla, is expected to go ahead, with high-ranking officials, including former President Festus Mogae, anticipated to attend.