Pilane Hlatswayo, said to be addressed as per his kingship names, Johannes Mashigo Pilane, is a 28 year old computer programming entrepreneur who is also a pupil of royalty stature under the “Baphalane” tribe from Limpopo and Pretoria. The tribe is an umbrella for two sub-tribes named “Bakwena Ba Mmamodimakwane” and “Bakwena Ba Phelindana”. Hlatswayo is the great-grandson of Pilane Ramokoka who was allegedly the rightful heir of Kingship but was unable to claim the throne due to the apartheid regime. As a result Pilane Ramokoka is alleged to have fled to atteridgeville with members of his tribe to claim residency and establish tribe territory.
” I don’t think heritage is lost, i can see its still there but it is not taken seriously anymore. I think we as traditional leaders should set an example for the present people and for the up-coming youth to know the importance of their culture so it does not disappear in the coming generations,” said Hlatswayo.
His biggest concern is placed on the remaining traditional leaderships and their state of working together to portray understanding of traditional municipalities as well as achieving a social and economic relationship with community members.
Hlatshwayo has submitted his application to be recognized as a traditional leader of “Bakwena Ba Mmamodimakwane” in Limpopo and he has received a letter for such from the provincial house. Apart from the specifics, Hlatswayo displayed pleasantness in the initiative the government is taking to acknowledge tribal authorities and include them in the decision making process of the economy as section 212 of the Constitution of South Africa states that the national legislature may create a role for traditional leadership to deal with issues in local communities.
Hlatswayo continued to explain the process taken by the government to recognize a traditional leader which states that for the Government to show that they do recognise a Traditional leader they firstly give them an acknowledgement letter that has a Reference number, signature of the HOD and as an appointed Royal family there will have be a request for government to fund a Traditional Ceremony which will be an announcement of an appointed Royal Family to the country.
“It is very important for all communities in our country to know about their heritage. Where their tribes originate from and know what is the meaning of Royalty and Where does Royalty in our country come from, for me I feel that it’s very important for all South Africans to mostly know who they are culturally. We are not only focusing on our tribe & royal status but we also want our community members to know that culture is the most important thing in life.” Concluded Hlatswayo.
By: Lindiwe Madondo.