Speech of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the
Funeral of King Xolilizwe Sigcawu: Nqadu Great Place, 14 January 2006
Usapho lonke lika Xolilizwe,
Likumkani, Iinkosi nezibonda,
Oorulumente base makhaya noosodoluphu,
ye Phondo nabasemagunyeni ePhondo,
Mzi wa kwaXhosa,
Bantu basekhaya, sizwe soMzantsi Afrika,
ndiqale ngokubulela imbeko esiyinikwe bubukumkani bamaXhosa obusivumeleyo ukuba
nathi sibe khon'aph'eNqadu ngolusuku lusind' uMzantsi Afrika uwonke, nathi sikhahlele
kumntwan'egazi - A! Xolilizwe! - egameni likarulumente nabantu boMzantsi Africa
Ngxatsho ke! Sizwe soMzantsi Afrika. Lithi elabadala inkom' enqoma
yintseng' ibheka. Ikumkani yamaXhosa uMzikayise, inkulu ka Sigcawu - A! Xolilizwe
- umzukulwana kaLwaganda kaMlawu, ithole loonoziqishiqishi libizelwe koo yisemkhulu,
liyokukhonza kweleminyanya, langena ke ekuphumleni kwaphakade, mhla kwapel' unyaka.
ilanga lazifihl'ubuso. Amanz' omlambo uMbhashe ala ukuya kungen' elwandle. Mhla
iNciba yaxuxuzelelwa sisisu. Bafa lunxano abantwana bomthonyama.
akafanga kuba akanukufa.
Akafanga uXolilizwe kuba akakwazi ukufa.
akanokufa ngokuba akafi.
Ezimbalini kuthiwa ngemihla yakudala, mini kwavela
umntu wamnye ukuze aphathe abanye. Kwathiwa ke lowo mntu yinkonyana yohlanga.
Kwathiwa ke lowo mntu maze athotyelwe ngabantu, yen' athobel' uQamata.
Mntu namhlanje lithole lesilo, uXolilizwe Sigcawu. Utyebile ke uMhlekazi. Yiyo
loo onto amadoda azibambe ngeenkophe iinyembezi. Yiyo loo nto iingelosi zasezulwini
zizifihle ubuso ngamaphiko. Yiyo loo nto iinduli zeNqadu sithe cwaka, yasweleka
ingoma yemilonji yehlathi.
We are here today to bid farewell to a son of
the African soil. We bid farewell to a leader of our people who understood only
too well the great responsibility that history had thrust upon him. We bid farewell
to a king who was much loved, respected and admired.
We bid farewell with
a heavy heart, for we realise that one of the best among us has departed. We have
lost a person who embodied so much of that to which we all aspire.
the history of our land, our leaders have been called upon to confront the many
and various challenges our people have faced. For over three hundred years, our
people found themselves at the mercy of a rapacious system of colonial and racial
They found themselves deprived of their birthright, their
land, their livelihood, their liberty and even their labour. Traditional systems
of government, commerce and diplomacy were targeted for destruction, as the colonial
powers sought to vanquish, oppress and exploit the African populations of our
country. The legacy of Nongqawuse is still currently felt in this region.
we know, the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa would not submit. Though defeated
by unrelenting force, the spirit of resistance remained strong among our people
and among our traditional leaders.
It was this spirit of resistance that
led to the founding in 1912 of the African National Congress, a milestone in the
struggle of our people to be free.
It remains a matter of great historical
significance - as well as a source of pride - that the hereditary leaders of our
people were prominent among the founders of the Congress. Given the status of
Honorary Presidents of Congress, these leaders represented the unity of the African
people in their determination to throw off the yoke of colonialism.
into this proud tradition of resistance and spirited leadership that King Xolilizwe
Sigcawu was born.
At a moment in our history when the apartheid government
sought permanently to dispossess our people of their birthright through the Bantustan
system, King Xolilizwe was a symbol and a manifestation of the unbreakable thread
which connected our people's proud history of independence with the ongoing valiant
struggle for freedom.
He was a leader who stood by his people, who would
not relinquish his responsibility to represent the genuine interests of his subjects.
He would neither submit to the extreme pressure of the apartheid government, nor
would he seek his own fortune at the expense of his people.
of his stature, such as Cetshwayo, Moshoeshoe, Sekhukhune and others, King Xolilizwe
helped to preserve our people's sense of identity, heritage and history, while
at the same time providing hope for a future in which all South African would
It a source of great satisfaction that King Xolilizwe outlived
the system that sought permanently to enslave his people. It is a source of great
satisfaction that he was able to witness, and participate in the birth of a united
and democratic South Africa, which sought to restore to his people their human
rights and dignity.
As we bid farewell to King Xolilizwe, we pay tribute
to a leader whose personal attributes and character live on as an inspiration
to all of us. All those who knew him remember his dignity and sincerity, his affable
manner and his humble demeanor.
We pay tribute to a person who has enriched
our understanding of leadership, duty and responsibility.
maXhosa amahle. IKumkani edla ezinye iiKumkani, ibuye izityekeze sezimpuluswa,
isahambele. Ewe, isathe gxada es' apha, isaye kubikela iShologu elikhulu ngoMzantsi
Afrika omtsha. Isaye kunika ingxelo ngomsebenzi oncumisa abantwana bothuthu, izangxa
namatshanhliziyo wenkululeko. Ewe kaloku zidwesha itsho nayo imbongi yeSizwe Jikelele
Ndiyakuhlala ndinaniphi ndingumntu nje,
Ningumntu nje int'ehlal'ihlal'igoduke,
Lihambile ke iqhawe elikhulu, elinduma zisebunzi
kukuhlanganisela usapho lwayo kwiinto ze-apartheid. IKumkani eyathathela kuyo
imivumbo yengcinezelo neentshutshiso zika zifele geqe; isilumko esixhobisa ngezwi
eliphantsi; umxhasi nomthandi wenkqubela yezwe lakhe, izwe lookhokho.
sulan' iinyembezi. Sizwe soMzantsi Afrika ningalili, nikhululeke. Lusapho lukaNtu
Sihlangene namhlanje ukuze sikhahlele okokugqibela, siyokumbeka
kooyisemkhulu umntan' eKumkani.
Akuhlanga lungehlanga, maTshawe. UThixo uyasebenz'
ezulwini. Ufuna iinkcubabuchopho neengcaphephe! Ufuna iingcungela!
Xolilizwe uxolile uMzantsi Africa.
Goduka Kumkani, siyabulela isizwe.
Lala ngoxolo Tshawe!
Lala ngoxolo mzukulwana
Imizamo uyizamile. Ugqatso ulufezi.