- Eastern Cape Monarchs have expressed anger over what they perceive as poor treatment by the governments
- Their anger was ventilated to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Dr Zweli Mkhize
- That one of their kings, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, remains incarcerated, and that they were left stranded after official cars broke down, are among their grievances.
Traditional leaders and royalty in the Eastern Cape have shared complaints with Dr Zweli Mkhize, COGTA Minister, about what they see as disrespectful treatment at the hands of government.
Briefly.co.za gathers that the royals bombarded Mkhize with their complaints on his recent visit to acting AbaThembu King Azenathi Dalindyebo, AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Sigcawu, and Western Mpondoland King Ndamase Ndamase.
The visit, which took place at Qhumanco Great Place near Cofimvaba, was taken by the monarchs as an opportunity to explain that when official cars broke down they were not offered courtesy cars as the government handbook says they should be.
READ ALSO: First farm murder stats released in 11 years
They also expressed disappointment that one of their number, AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, remained in jail, necessitating an acting king in his absence.
Dalindyebo and his lieutenants explained how difficult it was for royals to work when their cars were in for repairs, leaving them without transport, effectively stranded.
Reading from the government handbook, Dalindyebo reminded the minister that rules stated that if, after three days the official vehicle was not back from repairs, a courtesy vehicle was to be hired.
“But now it has been months that I do not have the official vehicle. Bhisho says that there is no money to hire a vehicle for me.”
Dalindyebo also compared the handbook’s dictates to what happened in reality complaining about flights for monarchs.
“It is written [in the handbook] that I must be accompanied on a trip by no more than three traditional councillors. But we have been faced with a situation where Bhisho says there are no funds for flights for us,” said Dalindyebo.
Seemingly, lack of funds is always used as a reason for not accommodating the royals’ needs. King Sigcawu told Mkhize said that he was supposed to visit his subjects in Zimbabwe this week, but was informed by officials that there was no money to hire him a vehicle.
Sigcawu’s adviser Nkosi Xolile Ndevu told the minister: “This has left the king enraged. This smacks of an insult. Since the king’s car has been in for repairs the king has been struggling to travel. Our king is stranded without a car,” said Ndevu.
Other issues raised by the royals included the lack of administrative staff for their offices, the lack of security and bodyguards at their great places, and what they saw as inconsistency and unequal treatment of kings in South Africa with some receiving preferential treatment.
This echoes calls made in previous years which fell on deaf ears.
During the visit, Mkhize donated an Nguni heifer to each of the three kings.
Check out and subscribe to - Briefly South Africa's YouTube Channel. For instance, this video about African Proverbs and others in a similar vein.