Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, not on ANC’s parliament list

Mandla Zwelivelile Mandela.
Mandla Zwelivelile Mandela.

While Eastern Cape traditional leaders on the ANC candidates’ list for the 2024 elections could see the number of royals increasing in parliament, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Mandla Mandela, did not make the cut.

At least six Eastern Cape royals and traditional leaders are on the ANC list — Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa, Nkosi Xhanti Sigcawu, Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe, Nkosikazi Khusela Diko, Prince Phumelele Ndamase and Contralesa general secretary Prince Zolani Mkiva — but Mandela, 49, who has been an MP since 2009, was not nominated.

Mkiva, Holomisa, and Burns-Ncamashe are also ANC MPs, and Ndamase is an MPL.

Of the 200 candidates in the regional-to-national list, Diko is at 63, Sigcawu is at 107, Holomisa at 108 and Mkiva is at 127.

On the national list of 25 candidates, Burns-Ncamashe is at number three with Ndamase at six.

Asked to comment, Mandela said: “I will reserve my comment for now.”

Mandela, the Mvezo Traditional Council head, has been an ANC MP since 2009.

He is chair of the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development.

Holomisa, 64, has been justice and correctional services deputy minister since May 30 2019, and had been labour deputy minister since May 25 2014,  before assuming his present portfolio.

This year marks his 30th year as an ANC MP, and he was Contralesa president from 1990 to 2013.

“When the first democratic elections were held in 1994, and in subsequent elections since then, the ANC deployed me to parliament,” he said.

“This was on account of me being an ordinary member of the organisation.

“The impression is often that I was in parliament to represent the institution of traditional leadership.

“That was not necessarily the case because I was never mandated by [traditional leaders] to represent them in parliament.

“Of course, as the president and spokesperson of Contralesa, and as a traditional leader myself, it came naturally that I spoke, as I still do, on matters affecting traditional leaders and the communities they lead, inside and outside parliament and the government generally.” 

He said the ANC accommodated all sectors of society including traditional leaders, who were the natural rulers of most rural and traditional communities.

“Quite a few of the predominantly black political parties are making approaches to traditional leaders, promising to address their current grievances.

“The gradual increase in the number of traditional leaders on the benches of the ANC goes together with increasing attention being given to these concerns.”

UDM president Bantu Holomisa is a prince in the AmaHegebe royal house led by his nephew, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa.

Bantu Holomisa said there were no traditional leaders on the UDM list.

Burns-Ncamashe joined parliament on February 19 2021 and was appointed co-operative governance and traditional affairs deputy minister on March 6 2023.

He said it was humbling when your organisation expressed trust and confidence in your ability to serve as a public representative.

“It’s an honour and privilege watered by great sacrifice and blood.

“This shows the genuine commitment of the ANC to an inclusive cross-sectoral representation.”

Mkiva, Mandela’s poet laureate, became an ANC MP on May 22 2019, serving as a permanent delegate member in the National Council of Provinces.

He is the chair of the select committee on petitions and executive undertakings.

Mkiva said traditional leaders had always been part of the political terrain.

“The politics of our country and its uniqueness is informed by the background of where we come from, the wars of dispossession and the wars of resistance which were waged by traditional leaders.

“Long before the founding of the ANC in 1912, traditional and indigenous leaders were at the forefront of the resistance against colonialism.

“The ANC itself was established by traditional leaders and we have many traditional leaders,” Mkiva said.

Sigcawu, the Amathole Local House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders chair, and uncle of amaXhosa King Ahlangene Sigcawu, is the head of the Mbhashe Traditional Council.

“The involvement of traditional leaders will assist in dealing with many issues including those affecting traditional communities,” Sigcawu said.

“This does not take away our inheritance as traditional leaders of our communities but expands our role to participate in national politics and fight for the development of communities.”

Contralesa provincial chair Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana, a former ANC MP, said he would continue voting ANC.






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