AmaXhosa king pays high tribute to Palestinian president

King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu
King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu
Amaxhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu is on an official visit to the Middle East where he will present Mahmoud Abbas with the King Hintsa Bravery award.

Abbas has led the Palestinian Authority as president since January 2005.

King Hintsa (Ah! Zanzolo), one of Sigcawu’s bravest and most celebrated ancestors, was killed by the British army in 1835. Sigcawu’s spokesman Zolani Mkiva, who is part of the delegation, said they landed in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday.

“From here we will proceed to Palestine His Majesty will confer the King Hintsa Bravery award to President Abbas,” said Mkiva.

Abbas was identified as “an outstanding recipient” this year for his “humble contribution to the continuing struggle for the liberation of Palestine and his outstanding leadership in canvassing the world to unite behind” the cause, he added.

He said as the trip was a “Xhosa kingdom matter” it was funded by the king’s council.

According to a BBC profile Abbas, now 80, is opposed to the armed struggle and pursues his goal of an independent Palestinian state through negotiations.

Abbas was elected to serve as president of the Palestinian Authority until January 2009 but his term was extended due to internal conflict. Fatah’s main rival, Hamas, has refused to recognise the extension.

Last year, PLO chief negotiator Dr Saeb Erakat travelled to Butterworth where he was honoured as a global champion by the Mkiva Humanitarian awards.

Sigcawu is travelling with his uncle, Chief Xhanti Sigcawu, Mkiva, Contralesa secretary-general and king’s councillor Chief Xolile Ndevu, and Chief Ngubelizwe Sigcawu.

They return to South Africa on Sunday.

Since his coronation Sigcawu has met influential world leaders, including human rights activist Reverend Jessie Jackson, at his Nqadu Great Place near Willowvale.

The King Hintsa Bravery awards were initiated in 1999 and are bestowed upon individuals who have made a “sterling contribution” to humanity and impacted on the lives of African people.