Those who announced the appointment of Prince Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu as the new AmaXhosa king were putting the cart before the horse, according to general Derrick Mgwebi.
In an interview with City Press on Monday, Mgwebi – who is the chairperson of a rival royal family AmaGcaleka Royal House – confirmed that he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma raising an objection in the process followed to appoint Prince Vulikhaya as king of AmaXhosa.
Mgwebi said they have asked the president not to issue the certificate of recognition.
On Tuesday, Prince Vulikhaya is expected to address traditional leaders of AmaXhosa nation at Nqandu Great Place, in Willowvale where he will be officially introduced as the new monarch by the Sigcawu Great Place.
The Sigcawu Royal Family revealed to the media on Friday that Prince Vulikhaya was the new king of AmaXhosa.
A small private ceremony to introduce him to the family was also conducted at the Great Place.
Mgwebi said he had raised the objection as a matter of principle because the protocol to appoint Prince Vulikhaya as king was not properly followed.
“Yes, the letter is written to the presidency and to the minister in the department of Cogta. But the letter, is more than an issue of the name, it is more on the issue of protocol and processes to get to a name. It’s not objecting to an individual. There is a protocol which governs the succession planning of the kingdom.
“If you don’t follow a protocol and you just go to a name then that becomes problematic. I can confirm that we have written to the president and the minister raising issues in terms of protocol,” said Mgwebi.
In the letter, which City Press has seen, Mgwebi wrote: “On behalf of the AmaGcaleka Royal House, which is a customary structure in terms of section 1 read with section 9 subsection 3 of Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act No 41 of 2003 as amended herewith categorically express our dispute to the appointment of Prince Ahlangene Sigcawu as the successor to King Zwelonke Sigcawu and henceforth request His Excellency the President not to issue the certificate of recognition in terms of section 9(2)(b), instead to invoke the provisions of section 21 of the same Act in resolving the dispute.
“Accordingly, the identification of Prince Ahlangene as envisaged by section 9(1)(a) was not done in line with the established traditions and customary practices of the House of Phalo. The old age traditional practices and protocols were never observed in that, even the late Queen of AmaRharhabe, Queen Noloyiso Sandile never pronounced on his name, similarly even the current King of AmaRharhabe has not yet pronounced on his name owing to the fact that internal customary processes have not been concluded as his very identification and authenticity has not been done in line with the customary practices.”
However, Prince Ndabele Mtoto, the spokesperson of the Sigcawu Royal Family accused Mgwebi of being power hungry.
Mtoto said the fact that Mgwebi who raised the objection was appointed last week by the AmaGcaleka Royal Family as acting king or regent proved that he was hungry for power and wanted to be a king.
“He is an individual who is not happy that we appointed somebody else as king and not him. Mgwebi is not part of the royal family and is not even a chief. He is a headman. He is very far in the hierarchy of the kingdom. But because we respected him given his experience, we made him a chairman,” he said.
Mtoto said the meeting on Tuesday would go ahead as planned with Prince Vulikhaya expected to address traditional leaders of the nation for the first time as king.
Mgwebi did not want to comment on being appointed an acting king or regent by the AmaGcaleka Royal Family.