Africa | Acting amaXhosa king appointed following death of King Sigcawu

Nkosi Dumehleli Mapasa has been named as acting amaXhosa king, following the death of King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, a royal spokesperson said on Monday.

“He will be the face of the nation for now,” Prince Xhanti Sigcawu told News24 on Monday.

The 51-year-old king died last Thursday morning at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha.

His funeral ceremony will be held on Friday, November 29, at the Nqadu Royal Palace near Willowvale, and memorial services will be held countrywide before then.

Mapasa, who is in his early 80s, will hold the fort until after the funeral.

After that, the process of installing a new king will begin.

In a statement over the weekend, the royal family thanked everybody for the messages of condolence and support to the king’s family and the amaXhosa nation as a whole following the king’s death.

Messages came from royal houses in South Africa, and from royalty in countries such as eSwatini, the Lesotho Kingdom, the Torro Kingdom of Uganda, Wanga Kingdom of Kenya, royals in Botswana, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Organised formations like the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, the Houses of Traditional Leaders, the Institute of African Royalty and many other fraternal organisations sent messages, as did ordinary South Africans and the amaXhosa in the diaspora.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and the nine provincial governments also sent condolences.

“We express our sincere gratitude to all our people, friends and relatives,” the family said.

“We are deeply touched by the warm and caring support we are receiving from the length and breadth of our country, Africa and the world over.”

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