Govt begins process of recognising AmaMpondo king

2018-10-02 22:37
 King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau wearing traditional attire (Gallo Images / Daily Dispatch / Lulamile Feni, file)

King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau wearing traditional attire (Gallo Images / Daily Dispatch / Lulamile Feni, file)

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Government has started implementing a Constitutional Court judgment that ordered Kumkani Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau be recognised as the rightful ruler of AmaMpondo.

Rule over the royal household for this Lusikisiki community in the Eastern Cape has reportedly been in dispute since 1937 when King Mandlonke died. But earlier this year, following years of legal dispute, the highest court in the land ruled that Sigcau should occupy the throne.

News24 previously reported that the legal debacle over rightful leadership began in 2010 after former president Jacob Zuma recognised Zanozuko as king and dismissed the claim of Mpondombini Sigcau, following the findings of the commission on traditional leadership disputes and claims, also known as the Nhlapo Commission.

However, in 2013 the Constitutional Court set aside Zuma's announcement, published in the government gazette, that Zanozuko was king, saying the president had acted under the amended act instead of the unamended act. The court said its decision was limited to the notice and certificate issued by Zuma.

Mpondombini died before the court made its decision, but his family felt that the Constitutional Court had vindicated him and nominated his daughter Wezizwe Sigcau as queen.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Zuma challenged this decision in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Both parties argued that the law did not require the president to consult the royal family to identify a king. The court agreed.

Following a failed application to the Supreme Court of Appeal, Wezizwe turned to the Constitutional Court.

In its ruling last month, the Constitutional Court said it agreed that Zanozuko was king.

"Government has begun the process of implementing the court judgment by recognising Kumkani Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau as the King of the AmaMpondo people," said the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in a statement.

Ministry spokesperson Musa Zondi the process for recognition of a king or a queen is outlined in section 9(2)(a) and (b) of Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act. 

"According to Section 9(2)(a) and (b) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 'the recognition of a person as a king or a queen in terms of subsection (1) (b) must be done by way of (a) a notice in the gazette recognising the person identified as a king or queen, and (b) the issuing of a certificate of recognition to the identified person."

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