Call for grave of chief to be found

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - By LULAMILE FENI

TRA­DI­TIONAL lead­ers have asked gov­ern­ment for help in find­ing the re­mains of AmaQwathi Chief Stokwe Ndlela.

The anti-colo­nial hero led the Stokwe Re­bel­lion against the colo­nial forces and died at the hands of the Bri­tish in 1881.

The call was made at the en­rob­ing and in­stal­la­tion of his de­scen­dant, fourth gen­er­a­tion AmaQwathi Chief So­mi­daka Zwelox­olo Stokwe, 29, at Se­plan Great Place in Cala on Fri­day.

Ndlela fought against the dis­pos­ses­sion of land to the colo­nial­ists, the laws im­posed by mag­is­trates, the im­po­si­tion of tax laws such as live­stock and prop­erty tax, and the Glen Grey Act of 1894.

He spear­headed the AmaQwathi Re­bel­lion, also known as the Stokwe Re­bel­lion against the Bri­tish colo­nial forces of Ce­cil John Rhodes in Lady Frere from 1880 to 1881.

Ndlela, whose grave has yet to be found, is said to have died from wounds in the Lady Frere bat­tle.

“It is time the demo­cratic dis­pen­sa­tion as­sists us in find­ing his re­mains so that we can have clo­sure. As long as we have not found his bones we will not rest.

“Un­like in the olden days, these days we have arche­ol­o­gists who can as­sist us to find his re­mains,” said Prince Zo­lile Burns-Ncamashe, speak­ing on be­half of AmaRharhabe Queen Noloy­iso Sandile. The queen’s an­ces­tor, AmaRharhabe’s Princess Emma Sandile, a teacher, was mar­ried to Ndlela in 1869.

AmaQwathi na­tional head Chief Zwe­lakhe Dalasile of­fi­ci­ated over Fri­day’s en­rob­ing and in­stal­la­tion cer­e­mony.

Stokwe, who took over the reigns in 2010 af­ter the death of his fa­ther Chief Mbulelo Gcin­i­sizwe Stokwe, said he would strive to pro­tect his fore­fa­ther’s legacy.

Af­ter Ndlela was killed in 1881, his fam­ily was stripped of their tra­di­tional lead­er­ship rights, which were then re-in­stated in 1958.

Among the dig­ni­taries on Fri­day were lo­cal gov­ern­ment and tra­di­tional af­fairs MEC Fikile Xasa; ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe, who is of the AmaQwathi clan; ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Os­car Mabuyane; Eastern Cape House of Tra­di­tional Lead­ers chair­man Chief Ngan­gomh­laba Matanz­ima; Contralesa act­ing pro­vin­cial chair­man Chief Dalux­olo Jezile; the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s act­ing pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana; and po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Dr So­madoda Fikeni, as well as may­ors and coun­cil­lors. —

Pic­ture: LULAMILE FENI

NEW LEADER: Chief So­mi­daka Zwelex­olo Stokwe, af­ter he was en­robed, an­nointed and in­stalled as the head of the Cala-based AmaQwathi na­tion dur­ing a cer­e­mony held at his Se­plani Great Place near Cala on Fri­day

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