Hail to the King: Ahh Zwelonke!

2015-05-21 06:00


King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu is enrobed by AmaRharhabe Queen Regent Noloyiso Sandile during his coronation in Nqadu Great Place in Nqadu, Gatyane.

King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu is enrobed by AmaRharhabe Queen Regent Noloyiso Sandile during his coronation in Nqadu Great Place in Nqadu, Gatyane.

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President Jacob Zuma accompanied by Cabinet ministers and other top politicians watched as King Sigcawu was robed and anointed.

In his first speech as officially anointed King of the Xhosa nation, King Sigcawu said of the Constitution:

“We need to review it so that we can entrench and increase the responsibilities of traditional leaders.”

The king committed himself to serving his nation with humility and dedicated himself to taking the nation to greater heights.

AmaRharhabe Queen Regent Noloyiso Sandile presided over the coronation, and with the help of Chief Daliwe Makinana, in enrobing the king.

Queen Sandile urged the king to continue working with AmaRharhabe and AmaGcaleka saying the two houses were “one blood”.

“We hope that under your leadership this relationship will continue unabated,” said the queen.

King Sigcawu said he would embark on a number of programmes, among them moral regeneration, education and agriculture, to establish a healthy nation characterised by moral values.

He said he would work hard towards changing a “dependency mentality” to one of fostering development.

“Yes, the nation I am leading is poor. It depends on social grants, but people must establish a cooperative, and move away from laziness,” he said.

“We have to develop an educated nation free of drugs and alcohol.

Our youth need to focus on education and both the government and traditional leaders need to invest more in education,” he said.

The king stressed he was the “king of all amaXhosa, not only amaGcaleka. I am the king of all ama- Xhosa irrespective of where you are.

My land begins in Umzimkhulu and goes up to Cape Town. It is all Xhosaland,” said the king

The king was sworn in by Eastern Cape Judge President Themba Sangoni and the clergy led by Bishop Andile Mbete, who anointed him.

Zuma said traditional leaders had a job to “harmonise the people of the country, improve their lives and enhance service delivery”.

He said the government was aware of Sigcawu’s role in uniting and advancing the lives of the king’s people.

“We appreciate the role of traditional leaders in promoting national unity.

We will work with his majesty in implementing the (government’s) back-to-basics programme to accelerate service delivery.”

Zuma said the coronation was one of the historic occasions to happen “since the dawn of democracy.

The democratic government undertook a long and difficult but necessary road of correcting the wrongs of the past through the Nhlapo Ccommission on traditional leadership.

“We further confirm the findings of the commission today.

I am happy that traditional leaders have indeed spoken in a unified voice about what we are today,” Zuma said.

Zuma said the coronation was also a celebration of the Constitution.

“The coronation marks the end of a painful era of colonial subjugation and oppression and ushers in a new beginning of strengthening who we are as Africans and how our society is structured or organised.

“We will thus work with Kumkani (the king) to promote heritage and customs that define the values of African people in the context of democracy,” said Zuma

“It is my greatest honour and privilege to congratulate you, Kumkani, on this day of your coronation.”

Zuma handed a certificate of recognition and a gift to Sigcawu.

“We say look after your people well.

“You defenders of the nation of brave Xhosa warriors!

We congratulate you Kumkani and the whole nation on this important day in the history of the Xhosa people,” said Zuma.

He looked forward to working with the king to build a better life for the people and said this day would remain in the history books of South Africa

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