Provincial official funeral for king

2013-04-11 14:06

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The late Eastern Pondoland king Mpondombini Justice Sigcau will receive a special provincial official funeral as his status was still that of king when he died, the spokesperson for local government and traditional affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane has said.

Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said this was the case because Sigcau had appealed a decision to depose him.

Sigcau will be buried at Qaukeni Great Place near Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

President Jacob Zuma ordered that the national flag be flown half-mast in the province in honour of Sigcau.

In a statement, the presidency said Zuma had decided on a special provincial official funeral, following a request by the provincial government.

“The special provincial official funeral is reserved for distinguished persons, as decided by the president of the republic, upon receipt of the request from the province of origin.

“The president has decided to declare the funeral for King Sigcau, as he has distinguished himself as he was the king of AmaMpondo in the Eastern Cape. He served as king of AmaMpondo since December 1978,” the presidency statement read.

Presidency spokesperson Harold Maloka today said Zuma would not attend the funeral and that it would be led by the premier of the province, Noxolo Kiviet.

Sigcau (71) died at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha two weeks ago, after suffering a stroke. He had also battled diabetes, which led to the amputation of both his legs in 2010.

He was the brother of the late Public Works minister Stella Sigcau, who died in 2006.

The monarch leaves behind a deeply divided nation of AmaMpondo after he challenged Zuma and the Nhlapo commission on traditional leadership disputes and claims for deposing him off his kingship and recognising his nephew, Zanozuko Sigcau, as the legitimate king.

The matter awaits judgment at the Constitutional Court.

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