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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

‘No factual or legal basis’: MultiChoice responds to ‘Queen Modjadji’ court challenge

The Balobedu Royal Council said the broadcast of Queen Modjadji will undermine and marginalise the Khelobedu language as well as Balobedu people.

Multichoice says it is confident in its legal battle with the Balobedu Royal Council over the screening of Queen Modjadji.

The series is set to premier this Sunday on Mzansi Magic, but has been at the centre of a court challenge.

The Balobedu Royal Council in Limpopo said the broadcast of a drama series will undermine and marginalise the Khelobedu language and Balobedu people. Led by Chief Gabriel Rasebotsa, the Council approached the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the airing of the series.

But Multichoice said they were sure the matter would be thrown out when it is heard on Tuesday, July 9.

“There is no factual or legal basis for the application.

“We are confident that the court will dismiss the case and that viewers will not be deprived of the opportunity of watching this epic story, inspired by the Balobedu legendary rainmaker, the first Queen Modjadji,” said the broadcaster responding to The Citizen.

Rasebotsa said they had approached the courts because they felt “undermined by the producer of the Queen Modjadji series and Multichoice”.

“The Balobedu Royal Council was not consulted and the Queen was not consulted. We have been undermined by the Apartheid government,” he told SABC News.

Some of the complaints in the court application by The Balobedu Royal Council include the wardrobe that the TV production decided on.

“The attire to be displayed in the documentary does not represent the Balobedu attire. The use of the Ndebele, Zulu and Xhosa attire constitutes a misrepresentation which, within the cultural context, where unique traditions and symbols are pivotal to the cultural heritage, constitutes and insults me and the people of the Balobedu Royal Nation.”

ALSO READ: Royal family excited about ‘Queen Modjadji’ premiere

Sibling rivalry

The dispute over who should ascend the throne of the Balobedu Queenship has been ongoing for several years.

The feud stems from the royal council’s 2021 decision that Prince Lekukela Modjadji be given the crown, instead of his sister Princess Masalanabo Modjadji.

The Balobedu Royal Council represents Rain Queen Masalanabo Modjadji and the Modjadji Royal Council represents Prince Lekukela Modjadji.

The latter reached an agreement with MultiChoice to create the show.

The making of Queen Modjadji included using artefacts and traditional items directly from the Balobedu Kingdom.

Clay pots, calabashes, reed baskets, and beautifully made beadwork, all crafted by local artisans. The production reportedly created more than 600 jobs, offering important economic opportunities and supporting local talent.

NOW READ: Balobedu royal family: Ramaphosa doesn’t bow to Rain Queen

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