King Hintsa’s legacy as freedom fighter lives on

Royals to visit the UK to seek more clarity on Zanzolo’s murder

AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu and the royal family yesterday hosted the first leg of the 183rd commemoration of the death of legendary King Hintsa, also known by his praised name, Zanzolo.
King Sigcawu with Nkosi Clayton Manxiwa, Nkosi Sibongile Dumalisile and Magwa Salakuphathwa led the entourage from Nqadu Great Place to Hintsa’s grave, 30km south-east of Willowvale on the banks of Nqabarha river.
Today is the second leg and the main event, which will be held at the Methodist Church Hall at Mission village in Butterworth at 10am when renowned Xhosa academic Professor Ncedile Saule will deliver the King Hintsa Memorial Lecture.
At the Hintsa site yesterday, the king discovered what he said was a distortion of the history of Hintsa on the information board and ordered the government to correct it.
Hintsa, the fourth king of the AmaXhosa nation from the Gcaleka lineage, ruled from 1820 until his death in 1835.
Hintsa was killed while commanding the Xhosa battalions on May 12 1835 during the 9th Frontier War. He was 45.
Hintsa was shot and killed and then decapitated by George Southey and his troops, allegedly while attempting to escape from British forces on the banks of the Nqabarha.
“Zanzolo was renowned for his ability to unite his people and to marshal them in the internecine wars and later against the colonial invasion by the British. He is a hero to AmaXhosa and his name lives on to this day because of his bravery and brilliant military strategies.
“We launched the King Hintsa Bravery Award,” said Sigcawu. “Zanzolo was a freedom fighter and unifier of AmaXhosa and played a crucial role in the fight against colonialists and set a solid foundation in the fight against African colonisation.
“Hintsa has been an inspiration to many liberation fighters and will forever be cherished and remembered as a fearless fighter for freedom of the African people and AmaXhosa in particular,” said Sigcawu.
In March 1996 self-styled traditional leader and igqirha (sangoma) Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka of Centane claimed that his ancestors had sent him to Scotland to dig up and bring home Hintsa’s skull.
The skull was analysed by leading paleo-anthropologists who said it belonged to a middle-aged European woman.
The Xhosa royal house subsequently denounced Gcaleka as a fraud and charlatan.
Sigcawu and his entourage are preparing to visit Britain in July on a fact-finding mission on Hintsa’s murder. —

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