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Another succession dispute rocks South Africa

Succession battles have seen royal families reduce traditional leadership to laughing stocks.

Mudslinging, backstabbing, hanging out dirty linen in public, manipulation, disrespect and dishonesty all play out in the public eye.

It is now commonplace that every time a monarch passes there is a succession row.

The drama that played out at the funeral of AmaMpondo King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau is part of a bigger picture of royal succession rows.

These tussles cause instability in the kingdoms and divide allegiance among traditional leaders. Kings and traditional leaders are supposed to be the custodians and repositories of custom, culture and heritage — the hearts and souls of the nation.

But, it is they who act in contradiction to their own cultural practices, as if they don’t know their own genealogy, law of succession and customary practice. Why is it that every time a traditional leader dies there is a fight over who should be the successor?

It always ends in court.

On Monday night, on the eve of the funeral of King Zanozuko, a faction of his royal family and Prince Dumelani Sigcau, said to be acting king, launched an urgent application in the Mthatha high court to prevent the king’s Tuesday funeral from taking place without their involvement.

They said the legitimate royal family had been sidelined by the government and some people who challenged Zanozuko’s ascendance to the throne. They called the shots and government recognised them in preparations for the funeral.

Mthatha high court judge Mbulelo Jolwana recognised the applicants as the correct persons and or structure to oversee and perform all customary rituals during the burial or funeral service.


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AmaMpondo South Africa


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