Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu, king of the amaXhosa. Picture: File
The recognition of King Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu was meant to quell rigidity, however squabbles proceed as some oppose his proper to the throne.
The amaXhosa kingdom continues to be suffering from royal dilemmas.
When the brand new monarch, King Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu, returned from Malawi, the place he was working as South Africa’s ambassador to that nation, he discovered that he had been locked out of the royal residence.
When President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the certificates of recognition of Prince Vulikhaya as king of amaXhosa on February 19, it was hoped that the transfer would unite the amaXhosa royals who had been combating over who ought to take over the throne.
Instead, it has additional divided the amaXhosa nation, with those that oppose Vulikhaya’s ascendence not solely taking the matter to courtroom, but in addition allegedly locking him out of Nqadu Great Place, his ancestral residence.
The throne was left vacant following the loss of life of Vulikhaya’s brother, the late king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, in November 2019.
Vulikhaya’s spokesperson Prince Ndabele Mtoto confirmed to City Press this week that the king would not be returning home as per traditional protocol and custom, but to his own private residence because he did not have access to the royal residence.
Nqadu Great Place is considered the heartbeat of the Xhosa nation and it is where previous kings and queens are buried.
There are strong threats that the king will not be allowed to rule and occupy the great place.
Spokesperson Prince Ndabele Mtoto
Mtoto said they had since asked the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department to step in.
“We have asked the government to intervene because we don’t want to fight; we just want the government to explain the issue of Nqadu Great Place because they are the ones who built and developed that home. So we wrote to the government informing them about the great place being locked by some individuals who claim it belongs to them.
“And there are strong threats that the king will not be allowed to rule and occupy the great place. Now we have asked the government to audit the property and tell us who the owner of Nqadu Great Place is because, in our understanding, it is a residence of the kingdom,” Mtoto said.
He confirmed that Vulikhaya was already back from Malawi and was wrapping up his work as a diplomat this week.
“We cannot take our heir as amaXhosa to a place where he is locked out and denied access even though that is his home. We won’t allow the king to be embarrassed like that,” Mtoto said.
“Traditionally, the king was supposed to go straight to Nqadu Great Place and inform his ancestors that he is back home and seek their blessing as the new king. Since that process has been disrupted, we are going to wait for the government to guide us before we move to that stage.”
We have an opportunity to bring back the dignity of this kingdom.
Mtoto said the new king was supposed to inherit everything, including the royal residence, but those opposed to him were hellbent on disrupting his reign.
He added that the new monarch had plans to uplift the Xhosa kingdom in terms of respect and development so that it would no longer be known for underdevelopment and petty squabbles.
“We have an opportunity to bring back the dignity of this kingdom. I can tell you that we are praying for the same level of dignity, respect and development as that of the Zulu nation. That is our goal now.
“Our king is aiming high. He will soon give details of his vision for the nation and what he wants to achieve during his reign,” he said.
Last year, retired SA National Defence Force General Nkosi Derrick Mgwebi – who is chairperson of the amaGcaleka royal family, which opposes Sigcawu’s appointment – alleged that the process to identify a new king was flawed.
I have not been to Nqadu in a while. I don’t know of any gates being locked, I won’t lie.
Nkosi Derrick Mgwebi
Mgwebi wrote a letter to Ramaphosa and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma objecting to the appointment, arguing that proper protocols and processes had not been followed.
Mtoto alleged that Mgwebi’s group and other family members opposed to the new king were those who locked the gates at Nqadu Great Place.
However, Mgwebi this week mentioned he didn’t know something in regards to the locked gates.
“I have not been to Nqadu in a while. I don’t know of any gates being locked, I won’t lie. There are two gates there – a small and big one; I have not seen any of them locked.
“I also doubt they would lock the gate for him because [Vulikhaya] is a child of that homestead. So how can anyone lock the gate on him? I don’t know how that is even possible. For instance, in my home, no one can lock the gate and I always find people at home,” mentioned Mgwebi.
All I can say now’s that we’re towards the choice of the federal government.
Asked about their determination to take the official recognition of Vulikhaya as king to courtroom, Mgwebi mentioned they have been consulting their legal professionals to problem authorities’s determination.
“We have taken the matter up with lawyers with the view that they take this matter to court. We are still awaiting advice from our lawyers on the matter.
“All I can say now is that we are against the decision of the government. They might think they made the right decision, but we don’t agree and want the courts to provide clarity on the matter,” mentioned Mgwebi.
Eastern Cape conventional affairs spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam mentioned he might solely remark after consulting together with his principals on the matter.