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Queen Noloyiso Sandile a great leader and a woman of valour:  the Rharhabe nation mourns the loss of their Monarch

by HRH Stella Sigcau

13 July 2020

These were the words echoed by Minister of Mineral Resourses Gwede Mantashe when he delivered the Eulogy on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa during the funeral service of the late Queen Noloyiso Sandile on 12 July 2020 at Mngqesha Great Place.  He went on to describe the Queen as a steadfast matriarch of the most noble character who was the cornerstone of society and the foundation upon which a home and a nation is built a sentiment that was shared by various speakers in attendance. She was also described as someone who abhorred gender-based violence, discrimination against women, the prevention of women owning land or property, and women falling victim to cultural practices that relegated them to a lower status than men. The final send-off of the late Queen Sandile commenced with a burial at King Sandile Burial Site in King Williamstown.

Queen Noloyiso Sandile was born Nomusa Zulu on 24 July 1963 to the late King Cyprian Bhekuzulu ka Solomon of the Zulu Kingdom. She was brother to King Goodwill Zwelithini Zulu the current Monarch of the Zulu Kingdom. She married AmaRharhabe King Maxhobayakhawuleza Sandile in 1988 whose mother was a Mpondo Princess and a daughter of the late King Poto Ndamase. Upon the death of King Sandile in 2011, Queen Noloyiso took over the reigns as the regent for her son Crown Prince Jonguxolo Sandile at a time when amaRharhabe were going through the difficulties of being recognised as a constitutionally recognised Kingdom, a battle they won through her leadership during a deliberation by the High Court of South Africa in 2016.

Queen Sandile succumbed to Covid-19 related sickness at age 56 on 8 July 2020 at Cecilia Makhiwane Hospital in Mdantsane, East London. The Covid 19 pandemic has affected many people globally. The Eastern Cape province where Queen Sandile resided has been hit hard by the pandemic becoming one of the hot spots of the virus. Queen Sandile had worked tirelessly in creating awareness around Covid 19 prior to her passing.

In attendance of the memorial service were the Premier of the Eastern Cape Oscar Mabuyane, MeC of Traditional Affairs in the Eastern Cape Xolile Nqatha,  the King of Abathembu baseRhode Zanemvula Matanzima, representatives from the Zulu, Mpondomise and Mpondo Kingdoms, Secretary General of Contralesa and member of Parliament Zolani Mkiva and Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders of South Africa Nkosi Sipho Mahlangu who all spoke fondly of Queen Sandile and the important role she played in upliftment of communities. Speaking on behalf of the family was Prince Mafini Sandile, on behalf of Rharhabe nation was Prince Zolile Burns Ncamashe and on behalf of Gcaleka Kingdom was Nkosi Xhanti Sigcau. Crown Prince Jonguxolo also paid a moving tribute to his mother. The funeral was declared a category 1 official funeral  President Ramaphosa on 10 July 2020 and flags were flown half mast from 11 July to 12 July 2020. Due to Covid 19 regulations some of the honours for example, the military guard of honour were not conducted. MeC Nqatha indicated that they’ll be conducted posthumously after the lockdown regulations have been relaxed.

Queen Sandile is survived by her daughter Princess Nomarharhabe and son Crown Prince Jonguxolo Sandile who was announced as the successor of his Father the late King Maxhibayakhawuleza Sandile after an official announcement during the funeral of his late mother Queen Noloyiso Sandile. He was given a new name Vululwandle becoming the 10th Monarch of the Rharhabe Kingdom leading 42 Senior Traditional Leaders and 300 headmen.




February/March 2020








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