Remarks of the Patron of the TMF, Thabo Mbeki, at the funeral of His Majesty King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu: Nqadu Great Place, Eastern Cape. 29 November 2019

 

Mhlali ngaphambili;

Usapho lukaKumkan’ uMpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu – A! Zwelonke!

Iikumkani, iiNkosi nezibonda;

Mongameli Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa;

Inkulumbuso yePhondo laseMpuma Koloni, Oscar Mabuyane;

OoBishophu nabeFundisi;

Iinkokheli zonke ezilapha;

MaTshawe;

Mzi wa kwaXhosa;

Sizwe soMzantsi Afrika;

Mawethu namaqabane:

Namhlanje kum ingathi kwakungekudala silapha Komkhulu eNqadu siz’okhapha uKumkani uXolilizwe Sigcawu – A! Xolilizwe! – mhla eyokubekwa kwikhaya lakhe lokugqibela.

Ingathi kwakungekudala silapha Komkhulu mhla kwembathiswa uZwelonke ngengubo yoKumkani – A! Zwelonke!

Ukwembathiswa koKumkan’ uZwelonke – A! Zwelonke! – kwanced’ iintliziyo ezazibuhlungu ngokulahlekelwa mgumntwan’ egazi, uyise wakhe, uXolilizwe – A! Xolilizwe!

Sithe sisavuyela ubuKumkani bukaZwelonke, sahlaselwa kukufa ngesaquphe, kwathath’ uKumkani wethu singalindelanga. Siziva njengenkedama.

Mhla sasingcwab’ uKumkani uXolilizwe ndathetha ndenjenje:

“Kumhla ilanga lazifihl’ubuso. Amanz’ omlambo uMbhashe ala ukuya kungen’ elwandle. Mhla iNciba yaxuxuzelelwa sisisu. Bafa lunxano abantwana
bomthonyama.”

Ndifuna ukuwaphinda lomazwi namhlanje, kodwa ndongeze ngokuthi ngelishwa namhlanje baninzi abantu kweliPhondo nakwamanye apha eMzantsi Africa aphelelwe ngamanzi ngenxa yokunqaba kweemvula.

Loo nto ke ithi ma sicele lomntwana womthonyama esimkhaphayo namhlanje, asithethele kookhokho nakwizinyanya zisiphe iimvula, ukuze sikwazi ngomso sikhahlele sithi – A! Zwelonke! A! Zanemvula!

Nditsho njalo ngokwazi ukuba eyona nto eyayihlupha uKumkani uZwelonke, angalali, yayintlupheko yabantu bakhe, neyomz’ oNtsundu uwonke.

Lusapho lukaSigcawu, maTshawe ninonke, ma ndibulele le mbeko nisiphe yona, yosinika ithuba lokuba nathi sithi gqaba-gqaba kulengqungquthela yentlonipho nesidima, sikhahlel’ ohambileyo, nje ngoko sakhe satsho sisithi – umzukulwana kaLwaganda kaMlawu, ithole loonoziqishiqishi libizelwe koo yisemkhulu, liyokukhonza kweleminyanya, langena ke ekuphumleni kwaphakade kuyo lenyanga.

MaTshawe, mawethu:

Mandicele ukuba namhlanje ndiwenze mafutshane.

Ndicela ukuba nivume kuba kunyanzelekile ukuba ndihloniphe uMongameli welizwe lethu, uPresident Cyril Ramaphosa, osiphakamise sonke ngobukho bakhe namhlanje.

Usezakuthetha, athethele thina sonke. Kunyanzelekile ke ukuba ndiyihloniphe lonto.

But before I sit down I must thank H.E. President Ramaphosa for honouring King Zwelonke Sigcawu – A! Zwelonke! – by ordering that he must be given a State Funeral.

In this King we have lost an outstanding leader of our people.

All of us present here are perfectly familiar with the great challenges our country faces.

These include such important matters as poverty, unemployment, inequality, violent crime including crime against women and children, drought which negatively affects millions of our people, the scourge of corruption affecting both the public and private sectors, the weakening of the organs of state which has resulted in a veritable crisis in terms of service delivery, the crisis of a stagnant economy which results in increasing the levels of poverty, the gross mismanagement of the State Owned Corporations leading to multiple problems for the country and people, provocative attacks by negative forces in our midst against foreign nationals, and so no!

Some of us present here will remember that when King Zwelonke closed the proceedings on the day of his Coronation, four-and-a-half (4½) years ago, he made the call that our country had the responsibility successfully to address exactly the challenges I have just mentioned.

He mentioned these by name and, among others, firmly denounced attacks against foreign nationals resident in our country, calling out – Down with Xenophobia!

H.M. King Zwelonke Sigcawu took this struggle as his own – to contribute whatever he could successfully to address the challenges he mentioned.

Some time before he passed away, he directed that he and I would have to meet to discuss what should be done to respond to these challenges.

I told His Majesty that I was on standby to meet him whenever he had time to meet me.

I deeply regret that that particular occasion did not arise, though I had the honour to interact with His Majesty on other public occasions, including the days when he visited our family a number of times during the period of the passing away of my mother, Nomaka Piny Mbeki, a lifelong resident in the Xhosa Kingdom which had not only fought against the colonisation of our country for over a century, but had also participated in the very establishment of the African National Congress.

I believe that there is no disagreement among us as a broad cross section of our population that to extricate our country from the general crisis in which it is imprisoned, we require a thinking, strategic, principled and courageous leadership, truly, selflessly and honestly committed to serve the people of South Africa!

King Zwelonke Sigcawu was such a leader! – A! Zwelonke!

That is why we are here today to say a final farewell to him, greatly aggrieved that he was given such a short time to discharge his responsibilities as both uKumkani wa maXhosa and inkokheli nabanye abantwana begazi baseMzantsi, inkokheli yesizwe sonke soMzantsi Africa.

As we say farewell to our beloved King Zwelonke Sigcawu, with some of us unfortunately caught up in small parochial disputes and misunderstandings – A! Zwelonke! – I would like to present to this solemn gathering words uttered by a Xhosa poet about the fact that as black people we share a common destiny and must, therefore, unite to pursue the common objective of our genuine liberation.

At that time, 136 years ago, the poet, Jonas Ntsiko, “Uhadi Waseluhlangeni” waseMthatha, rejected the perfidious notion which has arisen lately, that any of our ethnic groups, such as amaXhosa, occupy any privileged place of leadership among the diverse but united African population!

“Uhadi…” said in a poem published in the April 1883 edition of the newspaper, “Isigidimi samaXhosa”:

Vukani bantwana
Bentab’ eBosiko,
Seyikhal’ ingcuka
Ingcuk’ emhlophe,
Ibawel’ amathambo
Mathambo kaMshweshwe
Mshweshwe onobuthongo
Phezul’ entabeni.
Siyarhol’ isisu
Ngamathamb’ enkosi,
Ubomv’ umlomo
Kuxhaph’ uSandile…
Yaginy’ okaMpande
Ozitho zigoso;
Yamkhuph’ esahleli:…
Vukani Zimbila
Zentab’ eBosiko.

When the Xhosa poet, Uhadi waseluhlangeni, said, 136 years ago –

Vukani bantwana
Bentab’ eBosiko,
Seyikhal’ ingcuka
Ingcuk’ emhlophe,

he warned of the grave danger of division among ourselves as the then black oppressed.

I am convinced that as King Zwelonke Sigcawu very clearly understood, that message remains relevant to this day.

Nyakenye ndandilapha ndizongcwab’ isilo sohlanga.

Ngalo mini ndathi:

Mz’oNtsundu sulan’ iinyembezi.

Sizwe soMzantsi Afrika ningalili, nikhululeke.

Lusapho lukaNtu xolani noko.

Sihlangene namhlanje ukuze sikhahlele okokugqibela, siyokumbeka
kooyisemkhulu umntan’ oKumkani.

Akuhlanga lungehlanga, maTshawe.

UThixo uyasebenz’ ezulwini.

Ufuna iinkcubabuchopho neengcaphephe! Ufuna iingcungela!

Hamba Zwelonke uxolile uMzantsi Africa.

Goduka Kumkani, siyabulela isizwe.

Amanyange neminyanya akwamkele.

Lala ngoxolo Tshawe!

Lala ngoxolo mzukulwana kaLwaganda kaMlawu!

A! Zwelonke! A! Zwelonke! A! Zwelonke!

 

Enkosi!

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