AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu with Pravin Gordhan and Jacob Zuma. Sigcawu died last year. File picture: Xabiso Mkhabela
AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu with Pravin Gordhan and Jacob Zuma. Sigcawu died last year. File picture: Xabiso Mkhabela

Government dragged into fight over new AmaXhosa king

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Oct 17, 2020

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Cape Town - The government has been dragged into the fight over the new AmaXhosa king after a group from the kingdom wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma disputing his right to the throne.

On Friday the AmaXhosa kingdom named Ahlangene Sigcawu the new king to take over the reins from Zwelonke Sigcawu, who died last year.

But another grouping disputed this, saying Ahlangene is not the right pick for the position.

In a letter to Dlamini Zuma, from the chairperson of AmaGcaleka royal house, Daliwonga Derrick Mgwebi, he disputes the appointment of Ahlangene to the position.

"Kindly note that a letter has been sent to the president of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the above stated, consistent with the functions as envisaged in terms of section 9 of the Framework Act. As the Minister is aware of her role in terms section 9(1)(b) in the recognition of a king, as the AmaGcaleka royal house, which is a customary structure in terms of section 1 of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, we herewith register a dispute to the identification of and recognition of Prince Ahlangene Sigcawu as the successor to king Zwelonke Sigcawu. We thus request your office must not proceed with the processing of the recognition prince Ahlangene Sigcawu as customary processes have not yet been concluded as envisaged in terms of section 9(1)(a) of the framework act. Our view is that instead, the minister must invoke the provisions of section 21 in dealing with the matter as a dispute," wrote Mgwebi.

During the announcement on Friday, Ahlangene said he wanted to work with the government to ensure development in rural areas.

He said this was one of his priorities.

"The key areas that we need to focus on is the development of our rural areas. As you know that our government has a challenge of so many things like infrastructure, poverty and there are so many things that we need to sit down (and discuss) with government," he said.

Political Bureau

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