Dignified send off for the King of AmaMpondo

by HRH Stella Sigcau

4 July 2022

Multitudes of people gathered at Ndimakude Great Place to bid farewell to the late King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau who passed away on 31 May 2022. He was accorded a special official funeral category 1 by President Cyril Ramaphosa. President Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy during the late King Zanozuko Sigcau’s funeral service and commended him for the role he played, in particular on rural development. “He was amongst those monarchs who were determined that economic development should not be confined to urban centres in our country only, the President said.

Dignitaries included Cabinet Ministers, members of parliament, Kings and traditional leaders from various parts of South Africa, houses of Traditional Leaders including Nkosikazi Nomandla Mhlauli, the National Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, business sector representatives including Mr Patrice Motsepe as well as Mayors including that of Winnie Madikizela Mandela Municipality Daniswa Mafumbatha and Mhlelembana, Mayor of Alfred Nzo District Municipality.

AmaMpondo attended in their numbers from various walks of life and parts to bid farewell to their King. A guard of honour was made by school learners in uniform and traditional groups from Lusikisiki to Ndimakude Great Place in Esiphaqeni in the Mpondo Kingdom where he was laid to rest. The procession and convoy accompanying his body included traffic cops, traditional dancers, reed maidens and a horse parade (umkhwelo).

Various speakers echoed the late King Zanozuko Sigcau's commitment to the unity and development in the Mpondo Kingdom including the acting Premier, in the Eastern Cape Xolile Nqatha. Dr Matha, his doctor and friend, shared about the bond they shared as friends, as professionals and as his King. Prince Khwezi, the late King's son shared fond memories of the King as a doting and proud father, whilst Princess Nontsasa Sigcau, the eldest sister of the King shared memories of him as a child and his upbringing and the bond they shared as siblings. The tribute of Queen Nobandla Sigcau, mother of the late King was read by her sister Zingiswa Mgaga. Princess Stella Sigcau II read a tribute on behalf of the late King's brothers and sisters from the houses of King Marhelane. The house of King Marhelane is the current core (isilili/iziko) of the Kingdom within the Faku clan and the most senior house and ruling house.

Princess Stella Sigcau II shared about the late Kings efforts on unifying the Royal families reaching out to most to put their differences aside and focus on unity, prosperity, development and progress in the Mpondo nation. One of the things that was in the pipeline that the King felt would unite the families and the nation was the King Faku commemoration. It was also important to him that some places are named after Mpondo Kings including King Faku, for example, the Msikaba Bridge being named King Faku Bridge, Princess Stella Sigcau II mentioned.

During the funeral King Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase, who is a descendant from the right hand House of King Faku handed over umnweba to Queen Nobandla as caretaker of the nation. Umnweba will be in her custodianship until handed over to the next successor. King Ahlangene Sigcau of the Xhosa Kingdom and King Makhosonke Mabhena of the Ndebele Kingdom also paid tribute to the late King. The Defence band, Qaukeni born opera singer Jamakazi Bazana and Qaukeni choir formed part of the program to pay last respects to the King. The mourning period for the nation is expected to be three months from 1 June 2022 to 1 September 2022. The meeting by isilili is expected to take place in the beginning of July to determine succession.

Photo: GCIS