18 Sep 2012

Samoa's spat over Malietoa title not resolved - matai banned

3:03 pm on 18 September 2012

The Sapapali'i Village Council in Samoa has banned a senior matai from the village after comments he made in the media about the Malietoa title which is under contention.

The banned matai Papali'i Pitoni Ala'ilima says the three clans of the Malietoa title, Malietoa Talavou, Malietoa Moli and Malietoa Natutasina, have agreed to bestow the title in December.

But a member of the Malietoa Moli clan says Ala'ilima's statement is wrong.

The Moli member says the only agreement reached after the three clans met two weeks ago, is to meet again on the 27th of October, but not for a title bestowal as claimed by Ala'ilima.

A spokesperson for the Malietoa Talavou clan, Papali'i Kamuta told Talamua online that they are considering legal action against the village's decision.

When Malietoa Tanumafili died his son, Fa'amausili Papali'i Moli Malietoa was bestowed the title, but this was contested and the Lands and Titles Court ruled against the appointment.

In a 1930 decision, the Court had ruled in favour of the Malietoa Moli clan continuing to hold the title.