AmaJingqi leader steps aside

Daily Dispatch - - News -

WHILE al­most all tra­di­tional lead­ers hang on to power un­til they die, a vet­eran Wil­low­vale tra­di­tional leader has set a prece­dent by hand­ing over to his son while still alive.

Nkosi Man­dlenkosi Du­mal­isile, a doyen of the Xhosa Royal House and one of the most re­spected tra­di­tional lead­ers in the prov­ince, handed the reins of power to his son Si­bongile Du­mal­isile, 51.

Com­monly, suc­ces­sion takes place only af­ter a serv­ing tra­di­tional leader dies.

Hav­ing ruled the AmaJingqi tribe, sit­u­ated at Shix­ini in Wil­low­vale, for 45 years, Du­mal­isile stepped down on his 80th birth­day.

“I think for the bet­ter­ment of my sub­jects and the pros­per­ity of the tribe it is time to hand over power to the ac­tive, younger blood,” he said.

“Ad­min­is­tra­tion of any struc­ture of tra­di­tional lead­ers is not the same as when I took over as the head of Ama- Jingqi tribe in 1965 af­ter my fa­ther’s death,” Du­mal­isile said.

“It needs young, ed­u­cated and ac­tive peo­ple who know where to knock at govern­ment doors to en­sure devel­op­ment of one’s area and sub­jects.”

The Du­mal­isiles, of the royal Tshawe clan, are close relatives of AmaXhosa King Mpen­dulo Sigcawu and descen­dents of the right hand house of the le­gendary King Hintsa.

Si­bongile Du­mal­isile is well po­si­tioned to fill the shoes of his fa­ther, with a law de­gree from the then Uni­ver­sity of Transkei (now Wal­ter Sisulu).

In­spired by the heroic bat­tles that his fore­fa­thers fought in the wars that led to the dis­pos­ses­sion of their land and the dig­nity of the African peo­ple in gen­eral, Si­bongile vowed to em­power him­self through ed­u­ca­tion so as to en­sure that the dig­nity of his peo­ple could be re­stored.

Grow­ing up, he could not es­cape the ef­fects of apartheid and the home­land ad­min­is­tra- tion’s re­pres­sive regimes, and ended up in jail for his ac­tiv­i­ties while work­ing with ANC vet­eran Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela.

His lead­er­ship qual­i­ties were recog­nised af­ter the un­ban­ning of the ANC and in 1993 he was se­lected as part of a group of cadres from the or­gan­i­sa­tion sent to In­dia to study diplo­matic re­la­tions.

Hav­ing been in­au­gu­rated as head of AmaJingqi tribe on Oc­to­ber 1, Si­bongile has al­ready raked in R68 mil­lion from the Depart­ment of En­ergy for elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and more than R4m for wa­ter, agri­cul­ture, road in­fra­struc­ture and heath ser­vices from govern­ment and pri­vate com­pa­nies.

Nkosi Ngan­gomh­laba Matanz­ima, who chairs the East­ern Cape House of Tra­di­tional Lead­ers, said it was the first time he had heard of a ruler ab­di­cat­ing while still alive, while Con­tralesa pres­i­dent and ANC MP Nkosi Patek­ile Holomisa ac­knowl­edged that such a move was un­com­mon.

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