Speech of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the Funeral of King Xolilizwe Sigcawu: Nqadu Great Place, 14 January 2006

Kumkanikazi Nondwe,
Kumkanikazi Nozamile,
Usapho lonke lika Xolilizwe,
Usapho luka Sigcawu,
Likumkani, Iinkosi nezibonda,
Oorulumente base makhaya noosodoluphu,
Inkulumbuso ye Phondo nabasemagunyeni ePhondo,
Baphathiswa bakaRulumente,
Zinkokheli zonke ezilapha,
Mzi wa kwaXhosa,
Bantu basekhaya, sizwe soMzantsi Afrika,
Mawethu:

Ma 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 bebonke.

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.

Kumhla ilanga lazifihl'ubuso. Amanz' omlambo uMbhashe ala ukuya kungen' elwandle. Mhla iNciba yaxuxuzelelwa sisisu. Bafa lunxano abantwana bomthonyama.

Uxolilizwe akafanga kuba akanukufa.
Akafanga uXolilizwe kuba akakwazi ukufa.
UXolilizwe 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.

Lowo 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.

Throughout 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 dispossession.

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.

As 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.

It was 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.

Like others 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 be free.

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.

Uhlathi lityhiliwe 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 ukuthi:

Ndiyakuhlala ndinaniphi ndingumntu nje,
Ningumntu nje int'ehlal'ihlal'igoduke,
Ningumntu nje int'ehlal'ihlal'ihambele.

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.

Mz'oNtsundu sulan' iinyembezi. Sizwe soMzantsi Afrika ningalili, nikhululeke. Lusapho lukaNtu xolani noko.

Sihlangene namhlanje ukuze sikhahlele okokugqibela, siyokumbeka kooyisemkhulu umntan' eKumkani.
Akuhlanga lungehlanga, maTshawe. UThixo uyasebenz' ezulwini. Ufuna iinkcubabuchopho neengcaphephe! Ufuna iingcungela!

Hamba Xolilizwe uxolile uMzantsi Africa.
Goduka Kumkani, siyabulela isizwe.
Amanyange neminyanya akwamkele.

Lala ngoxolo Tshawe!

Lala ngoxolo mzukulwana kaLwaganda kaMlawu!

Imizamo uyizamile. Ugqatso ulufezi.

A! Xolilizwe!

 

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