During King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcau's coronation ceremony held in Nqadu Great Place, Gatyana, Eastern Cape on 15 May are from left: Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan, King Mpendulo Sigcau and President Jacob Zuma. Photo: newsyahoo.com
GEORGE NEWS - It was a proud moment for the Xhosa nation as the coronation of a Xhosa king took place for the first time in 50 years on Friday 15 May at Nqadu Great Place, Gatyane, in the Eastern Cape.
King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcau was crowned King of AmaXhosa in a prestigious coronation ceremony that was officiated by President Jacob Zuma and graced by kings and queens of the African continent and other European countries.
Zwelonke is the son of the late King Xolilizwe Sigcau, who passed away in 2005 and ruled the kingdom of AmaXhosa for 40 years and was declared a legitimate King of AmaXhosa by the Nhlapho Communision on Leadership Disputes and Claims that was established by former President Thabo Mbeki.
The Xhosa people hope their new king will restore their dying Xhosa traditional values and heritage, especially among the youth. It is also believed that the king will restore the dignity of the Xhosa traditional circumcision practise that has been under the spotlight for years because of botched circumcision and deaths.
According to Mzwandile Gincana, coordinator of the George Initiation and Environmental Forum, with winter setting in the initiation season is about to begin.
"The king's first priority will therefore be to address this issue and ensure the establishment of local traditional authorities. Although we do have a forum that deals with circumcision here in George, the king’s involvement will serve as a good motivation for those who are installed to oversee this practise, most importantly young initiates who are not properly schooled or do not understand what it means to be a Xhosa man," said Gincana.
Gincana said as people immigrate to towns, they forget about Xhosa traditional family values and how to live peacefully in a community.
"They lose the spirit of Ubuntu and society becomes more violent. In George we don’t have local traditional leadership, we hope the king can help establish this type of leadership so we can begin to educate people thoroughly about the values of our culture, which we believe can help to restore peace and combat all social ills, such as crime and domestic violence," he said.
The Sunday Times reported on 24 May that King Zwelonke Sigcawu wants all South Africa's monarchs to be paid the same as Zulu King Zwelithini.
According to the paper the Xhosa king and his advisers believe that the government should "close the gap" between what it spends on the Zulu monarch and the salaries paid to the other six kings in the country.
The Zulu King and his household costs the tax payer nearly R60-million per year.
All kings are paid a basic salary of R1-million per year, but according to reports the Zulu monarch's perks and extras far out way the benefits received by the other nine kings.
ARTICLE: ZOLANI SINXO, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'