- President Ramaphosa was forced to snub the coronation of AmaMpondo aseNyandeni king Mangaliso Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase due royal divisions
- AmaMpondo aseQaukeni king Tyelovuyo Zanozuko Sigcau threatened to interdict the coronation if Ramaphosa did not withdraw
- Sigcau does not want the government to recognise Ndamase as king of the AmaMpondo nation since he was declared king by the Constitutional Court in 2013
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has been forced to snub the coronation and handing over of a government certificate of recognition of AmaMpondo aseNyandeni king Mangaliso Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase due to divisions between the aseNyandeni and aseQaukeni royal houses.
AmaMpondo aseQaukeni king Tyelovuyo Zanozuko Sigcau threatened to interdict the coronation if Ramaphosa did not withdraw from the event. Sigcau does not want the government to recognise Ndamase as the king of the entire AmaMpondo nation or to hand over the certificate of recognition.
Sigcau was declared king of the entire AmaMpondo nation by a Constitutional Court ruling in 2013. Sigcau said he recognised that Ndamase was the rightful king of the aseNyandeni but not the entire AmaMpondo nation.
Briefly.co.za learned that Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko confirmed that Ramaphosa had decided not to attend the coronation because his attendance could have sparked fresh legal drama. Diko said Sigcau’s lawyer communicated his client’s concerns with the Presidency.
The two rival kings and their advisers were locked in negotiations and a series of meetings in Durban last week in an attempt to resolve the longstanding conflict and unite their nation. Ramaphosa instructed an inter-ministerial task team to facilitate the meetings in an attempt to bring a resolution to the matter.
News24.com reported that the meetings were led by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Zweli Mkhize. He led a powerful government delegation which included Cogta deputy minister Obed Baphela and Eastern Cape Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa.
Xasa later confirmed that matters had been resolved and Ndamase would be recognised as aseNyandeni king while Sigcau would be king of the AmaMpondo nation. Xasa said the government did not lead in this matter and merely helped facilitate an agreement between the kings.
Xasa said the matter had been passed from the hands of the national government to the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle, to handle on behalf of the government. He confirmed that the national government had spent roughly R15 million on the event.
Meanwhile, IOL.co.za reported that Ndamase vowed to address unemployment and under-development among his people in his coronation speech.
The newly crowned king said he would make developing his nation a top priority. Ndamase said Port St Johns had vast untapped potential as a tourist destination which he intended to develop in order to benefit his people.
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