Kentse Rammidi, the Assistant Minister of Local Government, has dismissed the motion calling for standardization of bogadi, the bride price, saying it is a cultural transaction which cannot be influenced by government.
Kgosi Mmirwa Malema had tabled a motion calling for bogadi to be regulated. He said there are increasing cases involving people who contest bogadi at their courts, and they find it hard to make decisions on the issue.
“Marriage is a natural and proper undertaking, but people are taking advantage of this noble undertaking to charge exorbitant prices,” he said.
He said high bogadi charges discourage prospective suitors to marry, resulting in children who are born out of wedlock.
But Rammidi said government cannot regulate bogadi because it is a common traditional practice, which was sanctioned by respective tribes as per their cultures.
“Bogadi is not the responsibility of government but that of Dikgosi and their subjects. I suggest that you discuss this issue amongst yourselves and come up with a common solution without government intervention,” he said.
But Malema insisted that the issue should be addressed as some people are using bogadi to accrue wealth for themselves at the expense of the groom’s family. He said bogadi was initially meant to be a token of appreciation for the bride’s family, but it is now being abused because there are no regulating mechanisms.
Kgosi Garebakwena of Molepolole also tabled a motion requesting government to declare the month of June a holiday for primary, junior and secondary schools so that children are not exposed to severe cold. However, the motion was withdrawn after Minister Lesego Motsumi said government is already discussing the issue.