- According to the SABC the Royal Family’s uncle, Ramphelane Thulare said the Bapedi nation will marry a "candle wife" in Lesotho who will give birth to the heir to the throne.
- King Thulare died in January this year due to Covid-19-related complications
- The family agreed that the queen mother will act as a regent until the "candle wife" is married.
The Bapedi Kingdom at the Tjate Third Palace in Mohlaletsi Village, outside Jane Furse in Limpopo, has announced that Queen Manyaku Thulare, mother of the late King Victor Thulare 3, is the new regent of the Bapedi nation.
The announcement was made by the family’s uncle, Ramphelane Thulare, at the palace in front of more than 200 Bapedi traditional leaders.
According to the SABC, Thulare said the Bapedi nation would "marry a candle wife" in Lesotho who would give birth to the heir to the throne.
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"When the time goes by, we are going to marry a candle wife as per the wish of the late King. The Bapedi people were notified about it and have already contributed requirements to marry her. We were only left with telling traditional leaders about it. We are going to marry her in Lesotho," Thulare said.
He said the family had agreed that the queen mother would act as a regent until the "candle wife" was married.
"We agreed that the queen mother will act for a while, she might act for years until we marry the candle wife who will lead us. We pray she will give birth to our king."
A candle wife is someone who is selected by the nation with the sole purpose of producing a male child.
Royal family spokesperson Ntoampie Mampuru said: "In our customs and tradition, it is not the question of husband and wife. The candle wife is the wife of the nation, so it is our responsible in the royal house as to who will get into that room, and do the thing and do the right thing."
King Thulare died in January at the age of 40 due to Covid-19-related complications. He is survived by two wives, four sons and a daughter, who are all not eligible to ascend the throne, as their mothers are not "candle wives".
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a special official funeral, Category 1, for the late Bapedi king. While delivering his eulogy, Ramaphosa described the king as a "youthful, visionary, promising, fine-sighted and so full of life".
The royal family also apologised to the country for not observing some Covid-19 protocols, after they had exceeded the number of people who are supposed to gather, and social distancing was not followed during the announcement.
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