The people of Musina were Vhalea, and they mined copper. They called musina, meaning spoiler. They, like Vhadau of Tshakhuma, Vhafamadi of Ha-Mashau, Vhakwevho of Luonde, Vhaņia of Niani, Vhagoni of Magoni, and Vhaluvhu, are the Vhangoņa. The Vhangoņa and the Vhambedzi are the original inhabitants of Venda.

According to oral accounts the Musina clan consisted of two groups: Musina and Tshumbe (Tshope in Sepedi). The Makushu clan is part of the Musina clan.

The Vhatwanamba of Tshivhula (Sebola in Sepedi) settled in Musina and surrounding areas and subjugated the Musina people. It is said that the Vhatwanamba came from Zimbabwe. The Vhatwanamba intermarried with the Musina people.

Tshivhula was succeeded by his son Ramasunzi. After Ramasunzi’s death, the chiefdom split into two: Lishivha and Mankadiko Sebola. The Sebola section is today made of Venda-speaking (Tshivhula) and Pedi-speaking (Sebola) communities, while the Lishivha section is largely Venda-speaking.

The other clan which is an offshoot of Tshivhula is the Matshete (Machete in Sepedi). They descended from Ralidaba, the son of Ramasunzi. Ralidaba was nicknamed Matshete after he was given his own area as a way of silencing him. The word “tshete” means silence in Tshivenda. It is said that Ralidaba used to nag his father demanding his own land. After the father relented and gave him his own piece of land he told him “to stay there and be quiet” ( ni tshete). Matshete’s land was at Luongwe Hill (Leokwe in Sepedi), Mapungubwe. Matshete was succeeded by Rantsana whose descendants were Mudimeli and Tseisi.

The Lishivha, Tshivhula, Matshete, and Mulambwane communities have lodged their claims with the Land Claims Commission, and their claim has been verified. It, however, looks like that the claim will take longer to settle since the four communities’ claims overlap and they cannot agree on the boundaries. They have all staked a claim on land where the Venetia diamond mine and Mapungubwe National Park are situated.

In November 2007 the human remains excavated at Mapungubwe in 1932 were symbolically handed over to Tshivhula, Lishivha, and Matshete clans. These are the clans whose ancestors lived in Musina and Mapungubwe.


  • Mamadi, M.F – “The Copper Miners of Musina”. Government Printers, Pretoria (1940).
  • Oral Accounts.