We’re Narrowing The Gap Between ANC and Traditional Leaders, Says Limpopo ANCYL Leader  

The ANCYL in Limpopo, under Provincial Chairperson Tonny Rachuene, has paid courtesy visits to traditional leaders and donated cattle, groceries, and other goodies as part of its Magoshi Fridays campaign.

LIMPOPO ANC Youth League (ANCYL) chairperson Tonny Rachuene, who has won praise from traditional leaders for championing their cause, has vowed to “narrow the gap” between the governing party and traditional leaders and restore the latter’s dignity. 

Rachuene has won the hearts and minds of many, including Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) President Kgoshi Mathupa Mokoena, after leading a campaign that has seen the youth league visiting more than 20 tribal authorities and lavishing them with gifts since last year. 

The campaign is believed to have boosted the ANC’s popularity and electoral prospects in Limpopo. Since taking over the league last year, Rachuene has organized a series of high-profile events, including the Collins Chabane Memorial Lecture in Malamulele, addressed by ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula and ANCYL President Collen Malatji in March.  

More than 25,000 people attended the gathering at the Saselamani Stadium, one of the few ANC Memorial Lectures held in a stadium rather than a hall. In an exclusive interview with African Times after visiting Kgoshi Madihlaba at Ga-Moloi village in Sekhukhune on Friday, April 5, Rachuene said the campaign was part of the provincial youth league programme to “bring back the dignity” of traditional leaders. 

Known as “Magoshi Friday,” the programme has seen Limpopo ANCYL leaders paying courtesy visits and donating cattle, groceries, and other goodies to various traditional leaders. The beneficiaries included Hosi N’wamitwa of the Valoyi tribe in Tzaneen, Kgoshi Langa of the Mapela tribe in Mokopane and Chief Thovhele Midiavhathu Prince Kennedy Tshivhase of the Tshivase Tribe in Vhembe. 

“There was a serious social distance between [the] government, in particular in the province and traditional leaders. Whenever you go to the funerals and weddings in the villages, they are complaining about [the] government not taking care of them, in particular the ANC-led government. So, we took it upon ourselves because our other task is to make sure we complement the work of the African National Congress,” Rachuene said.

“We said, ‘let’s invade this space of traditional leaders. Fortunately, as the chairperson, I have the passion to show respect to the elderly. That’s when I said, ‘Let’s kickstart this programme’. We went to Ga Kgoshi Langa in Waterberg, from there, we went to Kgoshi Rammupudu in Sekhukhune, then Hosi N’wamitwa in Mopani and Vho-Thovhele Tshivhase in Vhembe. Currently, we are on traditional leader number 20. Last Friday, we visited Kgoshi Madihlaba, who was number 20. This coming week, we are going to [traditional leader[ number 21.”

LIMPOPO ANC Youth League (ANCYL) chairperson Tonny Rachuene, who has won praise from traditional leaders for championing their course, has vowed to “narrow the gap” between the governing party and traditional leaders and restore the latter’s dignity. 
A Limpopo ANCYL convoy is heading to one of the Tribal Authorities to deliver cattle and groceries as part of its Magoshi Fridays programme. More than 20 traditional leaders have benefitted from this programme to date.

Rachuene said the programme has become popular with traditional leaders because it has impacted their lives.  

“They are appreciating it. Currently, as I am speaking, there are more than 20 requests of traditional leaders who are saying to us as the youth league, ‘can you come and see us. Can you come and visit us?’ Not that they want what we are coming to give them, but just to appreciate the respect we are giving them. When we agreed in our meeting, we said this programme must align with our term of office. So, it’s not a programme of electioneering,” he insisted. 

Rachuene said he was humbled by Kgoshi Mokoena’s appreciation of the “good work” of the Limpopo ANCYL. He added it was proof that Contralesa recognised the league’s efforts to “bring back the dignity of traditional leaders”.  

Addressing a government event last year, Kgoshi Mokoena said: “I won’t sit down, my good people, before I talk about one of the province’s children who has shown us miracles. I don’t even know whose child he is, but his name is Tonny Rachuene. I hear he is the youth leader of the ANC in Limpopo. Many traditional leaders have benefitted from his generosity and love for traditional leaders. Wherever Tonny Rachuene is, please tell me I, Kgoshi Mokoena, say wherever you go to ask for resources to help traditional leaders, let me give you,” Kgoshi Mokoena said to loud applause.

Kgoshi Mokoena said it was a good thing to witness young people returning to their roots.

“This is about instilling values in our young people. Any young person who recognises the role that traditional leadership plays in communities is welcome to engage Magoshi and to spread the message about restoring the dignity of our cultures and traditions,” said Mokoena.

The ANCYL has also added other activities to its program of action, including Disability Thursdays, when it visits disability centers. Rachuene said the league was also actively involved in the ANC’s Mayihlome elections campaign, which included door-to-door visits to persuade voters to elect the ANC.

Kgoshi Madihlaba (middle), one of the Magoshi Fridays beneficiaries, during the ANCYL visit to her Tribal Authority at Ga-Moloi village in Sekhukhune on April 5.

He maintained that the Magoshi Friday campaign would proceed beyond the upcoming general elections in May because it had nothing to do with electioneering. 

“This is not a program that has anything to do with electioneering. We are doing it as part of the ANCYL’s program of action in the province. We are going to champion this program until we have fulfilled our duty. We are glad that even the president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), Kgoshi Mathupa Mokoena, on behalf of Contralesa, appreciated the good work that the ANCYL is doing in Limpopo of respecting traditional leaders and restoring their dignity,” he said.

Rachoene added that the traditional leaders they visit also allowed them to speak to young people in their villages to instill respect for traditional values and morals.

“Long ago, when traditional leaders were still having authority, a lot of things were going well in our communities. There were no cases of Nyaope and other dangerous substances when traditional leaders were still fully in charge of our communities, and that is why it is important that our young people should learn to respect traditional authority,” Rachoene said.



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