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Don’t report crime to the police – the chief will kick you out of the village

Don’t report crime to the police – the chief will kick you out of the village

Traditional leaders often rule rural villages as if they were their private kingdom – as two women in Tshivhilidulu village outside Thohoyandou, Limpopo, found out.

They were given their marching orders and ordered to vacate their homes within four days by the local traditional leader during a meeting held at his palace on Sunday. 

The women, Fulufhelo Madele and Nancy Ntsandeni were accused of having dared the chief by reporting a criminal case to police instead of reporting it to the chief first.

It later transpired that the case in question involved relatives of the chief. It also came to light that the chief wanted to force the women to withdraw the case.

Madele said two men who are related to the chief beat her up when she was at her home last week.

“They swore at me, accusing my mother of witchcraft. After the beating and swearing I went straight to the police station and opened a case,” she said.

Madele said reporting the case to the police did not go down well with the chief. She said he promised her R1,000 if she dropped the case.

“I could not do that as I was badly swollen as a result of the beating,” she said.

“On Sunday a meeting was held and it was decided that we should vacate our houses. On the instruction of the chief, the entire village came and threatened me,” she said.

“But I am not prepared to move. If the chief wants me out he has to cover all my costs and I will leave.”   

Ntsandeni said she was being punished for being Madele’s friend.

“I am accused of being an instigator and a bad influence on my friend. I was also given a four day notice to vacate my house and I have no problem with that but only if the chief pays for all my expenses and losses,” she said.

Efforts to get comment from the chief drew a blank as his phone was on voicemail.

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Fulufhelo Madele Limpopo Nancy Ntsandeni

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