Royal spat over claims to Xhosa kingship

2009-10-21 09:19

A ROYAL spat has erupted after Xhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu’s office

claimed that Western Cape Xhosa King Michael Fadana’s position was


According to Xhosa Royal House coordinator Xhanti Sigcawu, who

addressed the media at the weekend, Zwelonke is the only Xhosa king representing

all AmaXhosa, irrespective of what province they live in.

Xhanti, who resides in the Western Cape, said Fadana’s claim to be

king of Western Cape Xhosa people was misleading the nation.

Xhanti said the Nhlapo Commission on Traditional Leadership

Disputes and Claims appointed by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2003 to

investigate chieftanships, kingships and royal deputies in South Africa,

recommended in 2008 that Zwelonke be the only recognised king of the Xhosa


Xhanti said the Nqadu Royal House had urged President Jacob Zuma to

enforce the Nhlapo Commission’s recommendations.

Fadana hit back saying he had been appointed “through custom,

ancestral authority and by Xhosa tradition”.

Fadana also slammed Zwelonke Sigcawu for disputing his legitimacy

through the media rather than approaching him directly.

“The so-called king should have contacted me should he have sought

clarity on the matter,” said Fadana, surrounded by six other chiefs who reside

in the Western Cape.

He said such disputes should be resolved by the council of the

Xhosa Royal House.

“Zwelonke’s legitimacy as a king is questionable but we do not want

to want to expose him. On what basis does he dispute me being a king?

“It is very disrespectful, degrading and arrogant to run to the

media. Anyone who wishes to disputes me being a king is more than welcome, but

the dispute should be done legitimately.”

Siding with Fadana, Chief Amos Silinga of the Western Cape Diverse

Traditional Leaders Forum, said Zwelonke and Xhanti were informed, and invited,

when to Fadana’s crowning in August, but they did attend it.

“If they wanted to dispute the legitimacy of Fadana, they should

have come to the ceremony. Zwelonke has not acted with dignity like a king. He

is defaming Fadana,” said Silinga.

Angus Flower, spokesperson for Arts, Sports and Culture MEC Sakkie

Jenner, said the MEC, who had met with Zwelonke on Friday last week, had said

the royal house had to sort out their own problems.

Flower said the arts and culture ministry had nothing to do with

the verification of traditional leaders.

– West Cape News

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