PHOTO: A scene at Malie village this afternoon
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 16 AUGUST 2018: The President of the Lands and Titles court today issued a court order to the chiefs and orators of Afega and Malie villages prohibiting the conferring of the Gatoaitele title to Papali’i Fa’amausili Moli Malietoa.
The petition was lodged by Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa, saying the rightful heir to the Gatoaitele title is vacant, and that the matter is pending in the Lands and Titles Court.
The Gatoaitele is one of the Pāpā (honours) pertaining to the Malietoa title that was planned to be bestowed on Papali’i Fa’amausili at Malie tomorrow.
However, a separate injunction to stop the bestowment went to mediation this afternoon between the heirs of the three branches of the Malietoa title – Moli, Natuitasina and Talavou where they all agreed to withdraw the matter for further discussion.
The general understanding following today’s mediation, was for the parties to seek a consensus and inform the court in two weeks time, before the bestowment goes ahead.
Papali’i Fa’amausili Moli Malietoa had already been bestowed the Malietoa title in a traditional ceremony at Malie following the passing of his father, the former Head of State, Malietoa Tanumafili 11 ten years ago. But the long drawn differences between the factions within the three family branches, resulted in an ensuing court battle that continued to this afternoon.