abaThembu to rebury king

2013-08-03 00:00

THE abaThembu in KwaZulu-Natal will rebury the remains of their 19th century King Ngoza tomorrow, a year after his grave was discovered in the Eastern Cape.

The reburial will take place in Msinga, northern KZN, although the abaThembu in the Eastern Cape were not aware of the plans yesterday. King Ngoza was assassinated in eQaukeni in the early 1800s, according to the National Heritage Council (NHC) of South Africa. After he was killed there was a split in the Thembus. Some remained in the Eastern Cape while others were caught by Shaka’s army and returned to KZN.

The latter included two of Ngoza’s sons, Nhlakomzi and Nodada.

The location of Ngoza’s grave remained a mystery until last year when just before his death King Thandizulu ka Faku agreed to show Ngoza’s descendants his grave.

The NHC will assist with the reburial as part of its contribution to the country’s legacy, its chief executive, Sonwabile Mancotywa, said in a statement. “Many of our people’s historic experiences remain untold and not preserved for the world to appreciate and learn from.”

The repatriation would bring closure to the king’s “restless soul”, and“open a new chapter for social cohesion among different clans, chieftains and kingdoms that are part of this history”, he said.

Traditional leaders, elders and community representatives of the abaThembu in KZN arrived in eQaukeni on Thursday.

The traditional ceremony to recollect the king’s “human spirit” was performed yesterday and the delegation was expected to return to the King’s home village of Msinga today.

An entombment ceremony will take place tomorrow. Acting chairman of the abaThembu Royal Household Thanduxolo Mtirara said the Eastern Cape Thembus were not part of the ceremony.“This is a sensitive issue which needs to be addressed. I have no knowledge that the royal Thembu household was consulted on this. “We are therefore not party to the ceremony. If we were to perform a ceremony or anything in KZN, we would first consult with king Zwelithini,” Mtirara told The Witness.

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