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News - Date: 07 December 2018
Written by: Anton van Zyl / Viewed: 2435
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) will now decide which way the Masindi Clementine Mphephu case will continue. This is the case where the daughter of the late Paramount Chief Tshimangadzo Mphephu is contesting the Vhavenda kingship/queenship. She opposes the decision to appoint Toni Mphephu Ramabulana as king of the Vhavenda and reckons she was discriminated against because of her gender.
The case served before a full bench of judges in Bloemfontein on Friday (30th). The judges were Presiding Judge Maya, along with Judges Swain, Mathopo, Mocumie and Mothle.
The case ended up with the SCA after Judge President Ephraim Makgoba ruled against Masindi Mphephu in December 2016 in the Thohoyandou High Court. He was not impressed by the arguments presented and he questioned whether the applicants had exhausted all other avenues, such as the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims, to resolve the dispute. He was also not convinced that the issue of male primogeniture was central to the case. Masindi’s legal team appealed his ruling.
According to Masindi’s lawyer, Mr Johann Hammann (Sr), they are very positive after Friday’s session. During such an appeal hearing, all the necessary affidavits and replies are filed beforehand. The judges scrutinize these and then have the opportunity to ask questions to the legal representatives of the appellant and the respondents.
Masindi was represented by advocate Alan Dodson (SC). The president of SA, the Minister of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs and the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims were represented by advocate N Arendse (SC). Toni Mphephu Ramabulana and the Mphephu Ramabulana Royal Council were represented by advocate IAM Semenya (SC).
Hammann said in an interview earlier this week that the judges might surprise everyone and have a verdict ready before the festive-season recess starts on 15 December. If not, they will only know the outcome early in the new year.
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Masindi Clementine Mphephu (left) photographed shortly after arrival at the Bloemfontein court. Photo supplied.
Anton van Zyl has been with the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror for over 27 years. He graduated at the the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and obtained a BA Communications degree. He is a founder member of the Association of Independent Publishers.