By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: MONDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2012: The Sapapali’i Village Council has banned a senior matai from the village after comments he made in the media about the Malietoa title now under contention.
The banned matai is Papali’i Pitoni Alailima is said to be the “Sa’o” or chief of the Malietoa clan. However, this was corrected by a descendant of the Malietoa Moli clan who said that Papali’i Ala’ilima only represents the Malietoa Talavou clan.
The comments by Alailima said that the three clans of the Malietoa title that include Malietoa Talavou, Malietoa Moli and Malietoa Natutasina, have agreed on bestowing the Malietoa title on whoever the clans will endorse in December.
A member of the Malietoa Moli clan was quick to correct Ala’ilima’s statement as unfounded and untrue. The Moli member said that the only agreement reached after the three clans met two weeks ago, is to meet again on 27 October, but not a title bestowal as claimed by Ala’ilima.
A spokesperson for the Malietoa Talavou clan, Papali’i Kamuta said that Papali’i Alailima who resides in United States has been notified of the villages decision. He also said that they are considering legal action against the village’s decision.
Two weeks ago, the three clans of the Malietoa title met to deliberate on choosing someone to be bestowed the Malietoa previously held by the late Malietoa Tanumafili 11, the longest serving holder of the title who held it for more than 30 years.
Maietoa Tanumafili’s son, Fa’amausili Papali’i Moli Malietoa was bestowed the title at Malie after his fathers passing. However, the bestowal was petitioned by the other two Malietoa clans and the Lands and Titles Court ruled against Fa’amausili’s appointment.
In a 1930 decision, the Land and Titles Court ruled in favour of the Malietoa Moli clan to continue holding the title.
Despite the differences between several descendants of the Malietoa Moli clan, there is majority support for Fa’amausili Papali’i Moli Malietoa to carry on from his late father.