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Court must respect customary law – ACC

Amadiba Crisis Committee | Press Release |19 August, 2019

Amadiba Crisis Committee 2019-08-19: Kingship conflict again in Court on Tuesday – Court must respect customary law: PONDOLAND IS NOT FOR SALE!

On this Tuesday 20 August, the Pretoria High Court is going to hear an appeal of Royal House of Qaukeni of the appointment of Zanozuko Sigcau as the King of AmaMpondo in the Eastern part of Pondoland, Eastern Cape. Against him stands the late King of AmaMpondo, Mpondombini and Mpondombini’s successors, Queen Lombekiso Sigcau and Crown Princess Wezizwe Sigcau, their daughter.

The legal argument against the Zuma government appointing Zanozuko as our King is clear. The court papers resonate with the feelings in the Amadiba community. We will quote from them.

The Commission on Traditional Leadership and Claims simply said that back in the 1930s “Nelson should have been the King, therefore Zwidumile should have been the King and therefore Zanozuko must be the King”.

But AmaMpondo customary law is not only about who it is that is born by whom, especially not if there is a conflict among royalties. Who should be the King or the Chief among the AmaMpondo is “ultimately based in the community’s decision, which decision has regard to the fitness of the candidate(s)”.

The Commission “never considered whether AmaMpondo ever supported the appointment of Zanozuko, or even if he was a fit person to govern”.  The Commission “ignored the issue of community support and acceptability which lies at the heart of the succession to traditional leadership and it substituted its own judgment for that of AmaMpondo”. “The only evidence (…) is that there was broad support for Mpondombini”. “At the time of the Commission’s hearings, Mpondombini introduced uncontested evidence that 25 senior traditional leaders supported him and only three supported Zanozuko. The Commission ignored this”.

The situation is the same today, and Zanozuko has time and again proved that he is not fit to be King of AmaMpondo. The reason the government supports him is that he is a Business King.

Zanozuko signed up for mining in Xolobeni in 2013 without consulting the people. He signed up in 2013 for the Freeway N2 Wild Coast through Pondoland without consulting the people. That is why Minister Mantashe brought him to the chaotic meetings in Xolobeni in September and January and why he was rejected at these meetings.

Everywhere Zanozuko goes he creates conflict.  Right now Zanozuko is asked to stay away from Lambazi community outside Lusikiski. He has tried to install his own Headman and is being blocked from entering by the community. The community has asked the Court to interdict him or there will be bloodshed. Zanozuko wants the police or even the army to help him to enter.

The EC Provincial Government is hell bent to impose Zanozuko as the King of AmaMpondo. They undermine customary law. They are simply using Zanozuko to take the land of AmaMpondo, without consent of the people.

The damage done to the AmaMpondo nation by the politicians since this chaos started cannot be measured.

 As ACC, we support a King that respects the communities,  that respect the people. If the Court again fails to understand AmaMpondo customary law, our kingship conflict will continue. It will tell us that the state doesn’t respect the Constitution of South Africa, because if the state undermines the customary law, it undermines the Constitution of South Africa.

This matter must be laid to rest. There can be no support for a King that sign business deals without consent of AmaMpondo to sell our land.


Attached Picture Video Dump from eNCA: 16 January 2019 Zanozuko coming with Mantashe to Xolobeni: To Zanozuko’s left stands Chief Lunga Baleni, who the Australians in 2015 appointed as mining director together with Zanozuko’s spokesperson Prince Mzwandile Maraqana.  

Attached: “Heads of Argument” before Pretoria High Court, Tuesday


Amadiba Crisis Committee:

Spokesperson Nonhle Mbuthuma:  0763592982

Chair Sibusisu Mqadi: 0634964074

Posted in AIDC, Amadiba Crisis Committee, Partners

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