A senior AmaMpondo aseNyandeni chief has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for being a no-show at the coronation of King Mangaliso Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase.
The president was expected to hand over a certificate of recognition to the AmaMpondo aseNyandeni king but cancelled due to threats of legal challenges by the AmaMpondo aseQaukeni – who don’t recognise Ndamase but argue that King Tyelovuyo Zanozuko Sigcau is the only monarch of AmaMpondo.
On Wednesday both President Ramaphosa and minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize did not attend.
Instead Premier Phumulo Masualle and the cooperative governance MEC, Fikile Xasa, represented the government.
Nkosi Zoyisile Ntapane, spokesperson of AmaMpondo aseNyandeni and King Ndamase’s uncle, said they were disappointed that the president and Mkhize did not attend the event – which saw about 10 000 guests brave the chilly and rainy weather to fill a large marquee on the grounds of Nyandeni Great Place.
“This is a disappointment to us. Our initial date was September 28 to crown King Ndamase and the president as the person who was suppose to be here was approached with this date and he suggested to us as the royal family, that on the date he would be out of the country.
“He then requested the coronation to be done on the October 3. This date came from the president of the country and he never come to us or sent anybody to us as the royal family to say that he is not coming.
"I am hearing for the first time that he is not coming today [Wednesday]. If that is the case it's a great disappointment to the AmaMpondo aseNyandeni because they came expecting that he would attend the coronation of their king,” Ntapane said.
He said the president had been scheduled to perform a ceremonial handing over of the certificate of recognition to King Ndamase and also give the keynote address of the day.
Ntapane said it was disappointing that the president abandoned the event on a threat of an interdict by the AmaMpondo aseQaukeni.
“King Ndamase is the king in terms of the laws of this country. For that matter, is there any interdict? Because I have never heard of any papers that were served in the court to interdict him or anybody from coming to this coronation.
“So it is just unacceptable that he is not here because of a threat of an interdict ... that the minister is also not coming here is just a sign of disrespect of AmaMpondo aseNyandeni,” Ntapane said.
Premier Phumulo Masualle apologised on behalf of President Ramaphosa and Minister Mkhize.
“I was asked to apologise on behalf of the president and the minister responsible for cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
"Both of them were supposed to have been here, but are here with us in spirit. They said I must humbly apologise on their behalf and say they are fully part of this occasion and fully support its mission,” Masualle said.
He said the government was humbled to have played a role in the coronation of King Ndamase and wished his majesty strength.
Nkosi Ntandoyesizwe Ndamase ‘enrobes’ his brother king Mangaliso Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase with a lion skin at Nyandeni Great Place in Libode on Wednesday. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press
King Ndamase was “enrobed” by his brother from the right hand house of Ndamase, Nkosi Ntandoyesizwe, with lion skin which had been blessed by members of the clergy including Zipho Siwa, the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.
The monarch thanked AmaMpondo and other nations who had graced the event. He promised to spearhead development within the nation, which is plagued by huge levels of unemployment.
“I want to say that I am committed to represent you well as AmaMpondo.
As you can see there are people here from China. I invited them because I want us to work the land and build these hotels but all that will depend on you as AmaMpondo. I am pleading that we work together so that we can bring development to our nation,” said King Ndamase.