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KZN Premier calls for peace in KwaMbonambi after a long-standing chieftaincy dispute

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and KwaMbonambi community Inkosi Mkhanyiseni at an imbizo at the Mbuyazi Traditional Council sports field in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture supplied

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and KwaMbonambi community Inkosi Mkhanyiseni at an imbizo at the Mbuyazi Traditional Council sports field in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture supplied

Published Mar 22, 2022

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DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says the end of a long-standing chieftaincy dispute will bring peace and attract further investment to the KwaMbonambi area near Richards Bay.

He was speaking at a provincial government community imbizo on Sunday, where he gave an update on the latest developments in the traditional leadership dispute.

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The imbizo followed a high court decision in favour of Mkhanyiseni Mbuyazi being the iNkosi of the Mbuyazi community. The Mbuyazi matter had been to the high court and the Supreme Court of Appeal a few times.

On June 2, 2021, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) was informed that the matter had been finalised at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, with its order favouring iNkosi Mbuyazi.

Zikalala said the decision is expected to go a long way in ushering in much-needed stability to the KwaMbonambi area.

Addressing the community, Zikalala said without stability there will be no development and the people of KZN will forever be victims of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

KwaMbonambi community Inkosi Mkhanyiseni addresses a packed imbizo at the Mbuyazi Traditional Council sports field in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture supplied

The KwaMbonambi community is a stone’s throw away from the multi-national company, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM), and the instability over traditional leadership in the area has been cited before as contributing to disputes which end up affecting operations at RBM. “We are now at the end of a state of instability and uncertainty in the area. Peace and harmony must return to this community. We must do all in our power to rebuild and renew relationships of trust that have been broken since the beginning of this dispute.

“Now it is time for this community to leave the past behind and to rally behind the new iNkosi, to open your hearts to a new future for all the people of KwaMbuyazi,” Zikalala said.

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“This is a time to strengthen collaboration with neighbouring communities and the local and international investor community in rebuilding this corner of our province. From today onwards, there should be no more disruption of service delivery and the government must be allowed to play its role together with the community in the provision and maintenance of essential services.”

Zikalala said the community must bury the hatchet and declare a ceasefire to all the hostilities which hitherto engulfed KwaMbonambi and the neighbouring areas.

Speaking during the imbizo, iNkosi Mbuyazi acknowledged the leadership dispute as a historical inheritance and pleaded for tolerance and peace among the family members.

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During his visit, Zikalala was accompanied by Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka, Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay, Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Bongoli Sithole-Moloi and senior government officials.

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