Victory for Princess Wezizwe Sigcau as appointment of AmaMpondo King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau set aside

By Drum Team

For years, her family has been opposing the government’s decision to strip the Western AmaMpondos’ claim to the throne.

Now Princess Wezizwe Sigcau, the first appellant, and Lombekiso Makhosatsini Masobhuza Sigcau, the second appellant, have won a seismic legal battle in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

At the centre of the of dispute over who rightfully has the right to be Queen or King of the AmaMpondo is the controversial decision made by the presidency to appoint King Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau as overall AmaMpondo king.

The decision came after the recommendation by the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims (the second respondent) that Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau is the rightful successor to the throne of amaMpondo aseQaukeni.

Based on the commission’s recommendation, the Presidency (the first respondent) released a report on the appointment of Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau as the King of amaMpondo aseQaukeni in terms of section 9(2)(a) and (b) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 41 of 2003.

A high court order confirmed both the commission’s recommendation and the president’s decision to appoint Zanozuko (the third respondent) as king.

In a unanimous judgment that has far-reaching consequences for the customary law of royal succession, Maya P (as they then were) and Dambuza, Makgoka, and Gorven JJA agreed that “the Queen or King of amaMpondo aseQaukeni is to be identified in terms of the process set out in section 8 of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act 3 of 2019, or, if that provision is not in force when the Queen or King is required to be identified, then in accordance with the applicable law in force at the time governing the identification of the Queen or King”.

This article first appeared in Drum on 15 September 2022.

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