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Rain Queen, daughter buried

2001-07-01 21:15

Pietersburg - Family members attended the burial ceremony on Sunday of Rain Queen Mokope Modjadji V and her daughter Princess Makhaele Modjadji VI.

The queen and her daughter were buried in identical white and gold coffins at the Royal Cemetery in Ga-Modjadji near Tzaneen.

President Thabo Mbeki joined mourners by sending a message of condolence to the family. "The president sends his sympathy message to the family as well as the Bolebedu tribe at the loss of the queen."

The stature of the late Rain Queen Mokope Modjadji V was of such magnitude that even the African skies mourned her demise through the recent eclipse, Northern Province premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi said earlier on Sunday.

Addressing mourners at the joint funeral service of the 64-year-old queen and her daughter, Ramatlhodi said it appeared there was a link between her death and the eclipse, which plunged portions of southern Africa into darkness on June 21.

'Late queen a dedicated leader'

"I think the African heaven chose to mourn her demise in this spectacular way."

The premier described the late queen as a dedicated leader who was committed to improving the quality of life of her people.

She displayed this by ensuring the construction of 176 primary, 67 secondary and 44 high schools during her 20-year reign.

Before her death she was also supervising other developmental projects, including a clinic and a technical agricultural high school.

Ramatlhodi said the provincial government would continue to work with the Modjadjis to finalise these projects.

Spokesperson for the Northern Province Congress of Traditional Leaders Malesela Solomon Dikgale also paid tribute to the late queen, saying the Northern Province had lost a great mother.

He said traditional leaders hoped the family would follow the traditional system in selecting a successor.

Other mourners included Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni and Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi.