Congratulatory message by President Jacob Zuma at the coronation of King Zwelonke Sigcawu at Nqadu Great Place, Willowvale, Eastern Cape
15 May 2015
His Majesty King Mpendulo Sigcau: Ah! Zwelonke,
Minister for COGTA, Mr Pravin Gordhan and other Ministers present,
Premier of the Eastern Cape Province, Mr P Masualle,
Deputy Ministers, MECs, Mayors present,
Members of Parliament and
His Majesty: King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo: Ah! Zwelibanzi,
Your Majesties from all over the country who have come to grace this special occasion,
Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima: Ah! Ngangomhlaba,
Representatives of the Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
All dignitaries present
The people of the Eastern Cape,
Fellow South Africans,
Molweni, Sanibonani, Dumelang, Thobela, Avusheni, Ndimatsheloni, Gooie dag, Good day, Lotjhani!!
It gives me pleasure to be invited to be part of this historic occasion. This function is the first of its kind in the democratic South Africa.
As government today, in partnership with the royal family of amaGcaleka and amaXhosa as a whole, we are celebrating the coronation of a King, uKumkani, for the first time since the dawn of democracy.
The democratic government undertook a long and difficult but necessary process of correcting the wrongs of the past through the Nhlapo Commission on traditional leadership.
We are further confirming the findings of the Commission today. This coronation today, marks the end of the painful era of colonial subjugation and suppression and ushers in a new beginning of
strengthening who we are as Africans and how our society is structured or organized.
In the past 21 years, we have transformed the institution of traditional leadership from paramountcy to kingship and from the so-called tribal authorities to traditional councils. It is important that today we are affirming this through this coronation. The coronation is also a celebration of our Constitution. Chapter 12 of our Constitution provides for the recognition of traditional leadership. Today we thus confirm that traditional leadership can coexist with democratic governance.
It is also significant that we are celebrating this coronation during Africa month. We view this coronation as therefore part of the celebration of Africa month, a celebration of our African identity, heritage, diginity and pride.
We are proud of our institutions, including traditional leadership. We are able to express ourselves as Africans today, in our rich diversity.
Today we also recognize the manner in which our traditional leaders participate in the governance processes, which makes our governing systems unique. Government is aware of the important role that his Majesty King Zwelonke is already playing within this community.
The harmonisation of relations between elected and traditional leaders contributes towards social cohesion and the advancement of the lives of the communities in this kingship. We thus appreciate the contribution of our traditional leaders in the promotion of national unity.
We also look forward to working with His Majesty in the implementation of the Back to Basics local government improvement programme in this community and surroundings.
We launched the Back to Basic programme last year and it requires that we work together to promote and improved delivery of services by municipalities.
We also look forward to working with Kumkani in promoting the unity of our people, and in promoting values in our communities which define who we are as the African people, such as Ubuntu, self-respect and respect for one another.
Traditional leaders are also custodians of culture, customs and tradition. We will thus work with Kumkani to promote heritage and the values and customs that defines the African people, within the context of a modern democracy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today is a day of celebration, a day that our people have been waiting for in this area and nationwide.
It is my greatest honour and privilege to congratulate you Kumkani, on this historic day of your coronation.
It is my privilege to present to you today, the certificate of recognition as well as the gift that symbolises the respect and prosperity that government wishes for you. Siyamhalalisela uKumkani nesizwe sonke ngalolusuku olubaluleke kangaka emlandwini wesizwe sakwaXhosa nesizwe sonke eNingizimu Africa.
We look forward to working with His Majesty and the Royal Council as we build a better South Africa and a better life for our people.
Issued by: The Presidency