New Mthatha Diocese bishop enthroned
Makgoba was speaking to the media at Mthatha Cathedral on Saturday after officiating the colourful enthronement of Bishop Hummingfield Charles Nkosinathi Ndwandwe as the new bishop of the Mthatha Diocese. He becomes the 11th bishop of the 144-year-old diocese, called St John’s Diocese until 2006. It has 87 parishes.
There was excitement in the hall as the congregation erupted into song, dance and ululation.
Makgoba said Ndwandwe and his predecessor Dr Sithembele Mzamane all have PhDs and that should serve as an inspiration to other bishops and priests to study further.
Mzamane retired in March after leading the Mthatha Diocese for 17 years.
“I have come a long way with Bishop Ndwandwe and served the church for a very long time and a few of us have been what is called the academics of this church taking our academic information seriously,” said Makgoba. “Bishop Ndwandwe holds a PhD, I hold a PhD and so does Bishop Mzamane. I think we have motivated other bishops who have followed suit and encouraged more priests to also study further.”
The enthronement was attended by Western Mpondoland King Ndamase Ndamase and IFP president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The 57-year-old father of three and former Suffragan Bishop of Natal was unanimously elected by bishops from seven countries in Southern Africa on September 25. Ndwandwe was only 24 when he was ordained in 1983.
Makgoba said: “I am elated that we have chosen somebody with strong academic strength, somebody with a pastoral heart, somebody who is a liturgist, somebody who has helped with the isiZulu translation of an important section of the Bible, the apocrypha.
“I think he is going to serve the people of this diocese with love, compassion, mercy, as well as be a good and firm administrator.”
Ndwandwe had mixed feelings about his election.
“I am excited I am trembling inside. I am hoping God will guide me throughout the journey I am called upon here to love all the people of this diocese. Seeking to draw all of them together and working with all of them, I am quite sure we will begin to move and work together to do the work of God,” said Ndwandwe.
The archbishop expressed happiness at the warm welcome that Bishop Ndwandwe received from the people of the Mthatha Diocese, saying it showed they had embraced him.
“I really wanted to cry. It proved that he has been accepted. Bishop Ndwandwe comes with support and approval of all the bishops. What more could we want?” — firstname.lastname@example.org