SOME royal houses in the Eastern Cape have congratulated the amaRharhabe kingdom after the Gauteng High Court ruled in their favour over the restoration of the kingdom.
However, the state said it was still to study the judgment and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) chose not to express their feelings.
“We have received only the court order and we are still waiting for the entire judgment to study it and see what steps to follow,” said national Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs directorgeneral Dr Charles Nwaila.
Western Mpondoland King Ndamase Ndamase’s spokesman Prince Mlamli Ndamase said: “This is a victory, not only for amaRharhabe but for all the kingdoms in South Africa.
“The Nhlapo Commission was a Berlin wall that divided all royals in South Africa and eroded long-existing good mutual relations and cooperation between kingdoms,” he added.
“I hope that the two Xhosa houses, AmaRharhabe and AmaGcaleka, will celebrate the victory together. This victory will pave the way for all outstanding cases.”
The Western Mpondoland kingdom is also challenging its demotion in court.
King Ndamase Ndamase is the only surviving king of the three in the Eastern Cape regarded as kings.
Western Thembuland King Siyambonga Matanzima said: “We are celebrating with amaRharhabe.”
Even the feuding amaMpondo royals, Regent Queen Lombekiso MaSobhuza Sigcau and her nephew King Zanozuko Sigcau, who are fighting for control of the amaMpondo, congratulated amaRharhabe.
“We celebrated with them and wish them well,” said Zanozuku’s advisor, Prince Mzwandile Maraqana.
Chief Ayand Faku, spokesman for Queen Sigcawu, said: “This was long overdue! We celebrate with them.”
Cordial relations between the amaGcaleka and amaXhosa royal families have existed for generations.
The Xhosa nation was united and ruled by one king until the time of King Phalo, who fathered Gcaleka in the Great House and Rharhabe in the Right-Hand House. After Phalo, it split into amaGcaleka east of the Kei River and amaRharhabe west of it.
This article was first published in the Daily Dispatch on 20 October 2016