AmaXhosa king Zwelonke Sigcawu's memorial services, funeral details confirmed

King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu. (Lulamile Feni, Gallo Images, Daily Dispatch, file)
King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu. (Lulamile Feni, Gallo Images, Daily Dispatch, file)

The Xhosa royal family, together with the Xhosa royal council, have announced memorial services and funeral details for amaXhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, who died on Thursday.

The king was admitted to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha on Wednesday night for treatment.

A statement by Prince Xhanti Sigcawu on Saturday revealed that Sigcawu - the 12th king of the amaXhosa – will be laid to rest on November 29 at his place of birth, Nqadu Great Place, in Willowvale, in the Eastern cape.

The broad strokes of the statement acknowledged the outpouring of support the royal family has received following the king's death.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank fellow South Africans and Africans at large for their support to the Royal family and AmaXhosa as a whole. We have received a myriad of messages of support, sympathies and condolences …"

Messages have streamed in from the kingships within South Africa, the Eswatini and Lesotho kingdoms as well as from Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria to name a few.  

Sigcawu was 51 and succeeded his father King Xolilizwe Sigcawu who died in 2005. 

He was only crowned in 2015 due to a prolonged succession dispute.

"It is a difficult moment for the family and we are still trying to come to terms with this harsh reality," said Prince Sigcawu.

The funeral ceremony is set to commence at 09:00am. 

Prince Sigcawu added they would brief the media in the coming days on further details, including details of memorial services set to be held in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

In paying tribute, acting president Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma called Sigcawu a "torch-bearer for peace and unity".

The ANC sent its heartfelt condolences to the king's family, the amaXhosa people and Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa while the IFP sent condolences from Mangosuthu Buthelezi in his capacity as president emeritus of the party, chief of the Buthelezi clan and traditional prime minister to Zulu King Zwelithini and the Zulu nation.

Compiled by Kamva Somdyala

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