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Source: Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Title: Makwetla: Memorial service of Ingwenyama Mayitjha III
Remarks by Premier TSP Makwetla at the memorial service of
Ingwenyama Mayitjha III at the Kameelrivier Stadium
Chairperson of the Mpumalanga House of Traditional leaders Inkosi
Kgoshikgolo Mampuru waboraro
Inkosi Patekile Holomisa from Contralesa and all the people
gathered here today
Allow me a momentary shelter from tradition to address this
gathering as a gathering of fellow mourners, even as tradition is
unambiguous that the passing on of a King is not mourned. What
befell indlunkulu nesizwe samaNdebele akwa Ndzundza and the
Province of Mpumalanga is overwhelming. Simply put, we have not
been here before.
If in some respects our conduct today is outside the normal
boundaries, let it be appreciated that we are indeed grappling with
an occurrence that is not ordinary.
Programme Director, fellow mourners, the enormity of the loss
occasioned by the untimely death of His Majesty King Mayitjha III
lies in the fact that more than any other ethnic group the vicious
scars of colonial conquest were even more pronounced in the
conditions of his people, the proud descendants of Musi and
With the liberation of this country, the late King Mayitjha
understood very well the time and place his reign occupied in the
history of his people. He displayed a keen understanding that a
golden opportunity had arisen to tackle in earnest the
reconstruction and development of his ancestors’
He understood his duties with zeal and the urgency which tempts the
mind to think that he was a man who knew that he was fighting
In his many illustrious initiatives to reconstruct the identity of
AmaNdebele less than a year ago, he invited us to an elaborate
function to unveil tombstones of old graves of the royal family
whose record and identity was a challenge to track and preserve,
partly because in the days of old cattle-kraals were used as
Ingwenyama Mayitjha wesithathu, Mabhoko sindeni
umhlab’unethuli, silembe sakophikwa, ikomo e raga abelusi,
undlela ezimazombezombe njengobunyonyo, was a colourful leader and
a man of his people.
UMgwezane, was respected far beyond the many realms over which he
reigned. The simple dignity of his life, his manly virtues, his
sense of duty – both as a ruler and as a servant of the vast
communities for which he bore responsibility - his gay charm and
happy nature, his example as a husband and a father in his own
family circle, his courage - all these were aspects of his
character which won the glint of admiration from many people who
came to know him.
For the 12 years UMkalanga was King, he was always probing for
opportunities to better the lives of his subjects. In this quest he
appreciated the wisdom to stay close to government at all times,
and to cultivate partnerships.
His positive attitude towards government while remaining a steward
of the aspirations of traditional leaders, easily distinguished him
as one of the central voices of his constituency.
The successes we have scored over the past eleven years happened
because it was our conviction that traditional leaders have a
critical role to play in our long journey to overcome rural
oppression, the urban-rural dichotomy of South Africa. We have gone
a long way in creating that better life, but many challenges
remain. We need to stay tenaciously with the problem of high
unemployment, continuing job losses, low savings and low levels of
investment. The challenge of poverty and deep inequalities based on
class, race, gender and region are some of the challenges that we
must tackle to honour the memory of King Mayithja III.
Our vision has always been one of a prosperous, equitable, stable
and democratic society. In the economy, our vision has been one of
decent work and living standards for all, in the context of
qualitatively improved equity in ownership, management skills and
access to opportunities.
That is the monument we must build for Ingwenyama u-Mayitjha
We must continue to recognise the power of his spirit, that we do
not diminish it with time, or dilute it with our fear of loss. Let
us celebrate the richness of his life now and into the
To isizwe SamaNdebele, continue to grow from strength to strength
and enrich the bigger family that is Mpumalanga. Remember,
“when conflict is handled correctly, we grow closer to each
other” – Rick Warren. It is timeless wisdom to bear the
burden of being considerate of the doubts and fears of
To the royal family and friends, may the memories of precious past
times help to ease the pain and wipe away your tears. For his part,
may the soul of Ingwenyama u-Mayitjha III rest in peace.
I thank you.
Issued by: Office of the Premier, Mpumalanga Provincial Government
16 July 2005