‘No land’ for same-sex couples
Nonkonyana says leaders must refuse sites to gays
RURAL communities and their traditional leaders will not demarcate residential sites for people who are involved in same-sex marriages.
This was said by Contralesa provincial chairman Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana at the funeral of AmaXhosa senior royal member and Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders (ECHTL) executive member Chief Mthetho Ngubesizwe Sigcawu yesterday.
Thousands of mourners attended the funeral at Ngxakaxha Great Place near Dutywa.
Nonkonyana said it was against traditional beliefs for a man to marry another man.
“According to God’s law, man should marry a woman. Same-sex union is not only anti-God but also un-African,” Nonkonyana said.
“In our rural areas we will never demarcate residential land for any man who is married to another man, not because we punish them, but because sites are according to our practices and are demarcated for a married man who has a wife.”
Also speaking at the event, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa said traditional leaders and government should work together to ensure development in rural areas.
“We want traditional leaders and other sectors to assist fighting crime, corruption and fraud. [Sigcawu] was an exemplary traditional leader who sweated for the development of his people and [was an example of] the true meaning of traditional leadership,” Xasa said.
Sigcawu, 53, as head of Ama- Gcaleka AseGwadana Traditional Council, oversaw five administrative areas from his Ngxakaxha Great Place for 25 years.
He died on April 5 when his car collided with a truck near Dutywa. Just weeks earlier, he had been officially enrobed by his nephew, King AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Sigcawu, during which he was draped in a leopard skin and given a ruling stick.
Sigcawu was chair of the ECHTL’s traditions, customs and culture portfolio committee. He was also the chaplain-in-chief of the ECHTL, dealing with religious matters, as well as a Contralesa PEC member.
ECHTL chairman Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima consoled mourners including AmaTshawe royal clan members and traditional, government and church leaders.
“He [Chief Sigcawu] was a pillar and an exemplary leader but God decided that he depart here. As traditional leaders we must learn from his legacy,” Matanzima said.
One of Sigcawu’s 11 children, Zukiswa Sigcawu, urged mourners to rather celebrate a life well lived than mourn his departure.
“Although he was busy he always had time for his children. He loved music, so let us sing and celebrate,” Zukiswa said.
Among those who attended the funeral were King Sigcawu, AmaRharhabe Regent-Queen Noloyiso Sandile, Western Thembuland King Dalimvula Matanzima, Western Mpondoland King Ndamase Ndamase and AmaMpondo King Zanozuko Sigcau.
Contralesa secretary-general Chief Xolile Ndevu, his provincial counterpart Chief Mkhanyiseli Dudumayo and ECHTL deputy chairman Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe were also in attendance.
Government leaders who attended the funeral included Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Eastern Cape Health MEC Dr Pumza Dyantyi, Mbhashe mayor Nonceba Mfecane and Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims deputy chairman Dr Nokuzola Mndende.
Sigcawu was buried early in the morning by men before the start of the funeral service in accordance with Xhosa customary practices.
He is survived by 11 children and two wives, Nophelo and Noluvuyo.