King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana has urged the people of Ha-Mutele to observe the mourning period in honour of the fallen Acting Senior Traditional Leader of the Mutele Traditional Council, Vho-William Mutele (76). Mphephu was addressing hundreds of villagers, traditional leaders, community stakeholders and guests during Mutele’s funeral service at Ha-Mutele sports ground, near Masisi. Mutele, who represented the Mutele Traditional Council at Musina Municipality Council, died a fortnight ago after falling ill.

“This is not the time to discuss about the heir who should ascend the throne. According to our culture, we still have to observe the mourning period before we can talk about a person who should take over the reigns. I urge every one of you to be patient and wait for the traditional processes to unfold so that we can do our things according to our custom. I personally came here today to mourn and I will come back again to install a new Thovhele when the time is right.” Said Mphephu during the funeral.

He said Mutele was one of the trusted traditional leaders and his death is a great loss. “He was a reliable individual who took part in everything that we jointly do as traditional leaders. Despite his advanced age, he never missed a single meeting to discuss issues of service delivery and traditional leadership. As an elder, we used to take advice from him and we have been deeply touched by his passing. Despite all this, we will continue where he left off to build our kingdom into a strong united front.”

The MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, who represented Limpopo provincial government, said the community of Ha-Mutele should be assured of heartfelt condolences from the government. “As government, we are also saddened by his passing but we hope the Lord will comfort the family and community members during this trying times. It is a great loss to us because traditional leaders are our partners in governance and community development. We send sincere condolences and we believe that his soul will rest in perfect peace.”

Cllr Jeremiah Khunwana from Musina Municipality said the municipality has lost a partner in community development because Mutele’s seat in the Council is currently vacant. “For the past two years, he worked well with us and we will surely miss his contributions in Musina Municipality. We will continue to work hard to bring a better life to all in honour of this fallen giant.”

Captured during the funeral service of the fallen Acting Senior Traditional Leader of the Mutele Traditional Council, Vho-William Mutele are from left to right: King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba and Vhembe District Executive Mayor Florence Radzilani.