Unifying AmaTshawe princess a sad loss to AmaRharhabe

Princess Ntombizodwa Sandile
Princess Ntombizodwa Sandile
Image: Supplied

The AmaRharhabe kingdom and AmaTshawe royal clan are mourning the death of one of their senior royals, Princess Ntombizodwa Sandile, who is to be given a royal send-off and laid to rest at Mngqeshe Great Place near King William’s Town on Saturday.

Sandile, 70, was the daughter of King Velile Archie Sandile, aunt of the late AmaRharhabe King Maxhobayakhawuleza Zanesizwe Sandile and close family member of the reigning AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu. She died on September 2 in Stutterheim after a long illness.

According to Rharhabe kingdom spokesperson Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe, they have lost a pillar of the royal family and kingdom.

She was one of the last two living children of King Velile.

“We are saddened that one of us has passed on and humbled by the support received from so many,” said Burns-Ncamashe.

The princess’s death comes while the AmaRharhabe wait for President Cyril Ramaphosa to issue a kingship recognition certificate after a high court in Gauteng ruled that they were a legitimate kingdom, setting aside the Nhlapo Commission’s 2008 decision to remove the royal status.

“Despite the court order being very specific about the matter, the government continues to renege on issuing this certificate. It would have made the princess very happy to leave this world with such good news to report to the ancestors of our heroic kingdom.

“We will continue the struggle with all our fraternal royal houses. We hope Princess Ntombizodwa will join those martyrs through whom we derive the spirit and strength to ensure that the institution of traditional leadership continues to hold moral ground in building and reconstructing a new society,” Burns-Ncamashe said.

He described Princess Sandile as a unifying figure, a person who loved her kingdom and the AmaTshawe and who was passionate about development, culture and African traditions, especially those of AmaXhosa.

Representatives of royal houses, business, clergy and government leaders will attend the funeral on Saturday.