PHOTO: Papali’i Molī Malietoa bestowed the Malietoa title at Malie this morning
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA SAMOA – FRIDAY 17 AUGUST 2018: The bestowal of the Malietoa title on Papali’i Molī Malietoa proceeded at 5.00 this morning at Malie despite an interim injunction from the court that prohibited conferring the Gatoaitele honour.
But the ceremony proceeded without the bestowal of the Pāpā honours.
The ceremony began with a church service and blessing by the church ministers. The service was attended by His Highness the Head of State, Tuimalealiifano Vaaleto’a Sualauvi 11 and Masiofo Fa’amausili Leinafo, family members and the village.
This was followed by the bestowal ceremony at the malae where the Malietoa title holder took his place on a stage in a single tent away from the village chiefs and orators and where he received the first cup of the royal ava ceremony.
Village chief Maualaivao Pepe Seiuli pointed out that his village believed that there is no need for the Gatoaitele honour to be conferred on a Malietoa.
“History shows that of the 39 Malietoa title holders, none, not even one honour had been conferred by Gatoaitele,” he told Talamua after the bestowal ceremony.
“We are not angry, but we are disappointed because they did not keep their promise that they will join us this morning,” he emphasized.
“And if it means this will go to court, we will face them in court.”
Maualaivao then referred to the interim injunction as not even valid over the court decision.
“Today is the result of the court decision in December last year, where Fa’amausili was appointed by the court to be the next Malietoa title holder.”
It was the same view shared by Malietoa Fa’amausili. “We are doing what the court decision told us to do, so we are doing it now.”
Malietoa Molī said his next move is to secure peace and harmony amongst his family.
“I believe there are about three appeals in court against myself, but with the help from God, I would like to restore peace in my family first.”
Before this mornings bestowal, the dissenting branches of the Malietoa title and Malietoa Papali’i Molī’s side took to mediation in Court where they generally agreed to inform the court in two weeks of a candidate that has their consensus.
Malietoa Papali’i Fa’amausili Molī is the eldest son of the late Head of State, Malietoa Tanumafili 11 in his union with Tunu Malietoa.
The Malietoa title has been vacant for more than 10 years.