The AmaXhosa Royal family, a contingent of traditional leaders and the clergy have collected the body of the late King Zwelonke Mpendulo Sigcawu from Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha.

Sigwcawu died last week in the Mthatha hospital in the Eastern Cape aged 51. He ruled AmaXhosa nation for more than 14 years. He has been described as a peace maker and very passionate about developing rural communities.

They sang traditional praises and communicated spiritually, asking permission from the ancestral elders to repatriate the body back to Nqadu Great Palace where it will be laid to rest on the 29th of November.

AmaXhosa Royal family spokesperson, Prince Zolile Bens -Ncamashe says, “We started by observing the traditional rituals which are part of the processes of taking the body to where it will be put to rest. We obviously conducted a service which was led by the clergy working together with the family as well as the contingent of traditional leadership from both abaThembu and amaMpondo.”

Bens-Ncamashe says the nation expects the Office of the Presidency to declare a Category One funeral status that will be fit for the King’s farewell.

“Obviously, when it comes to the categorization, it not being the first instance of burial of the king in the Xhosa kingdom, taking into account the precedence that already exists in terms of the funeral  accorded to the late His Majesty King Xolile Sigcawu, we hope that will also provide useful guidance in making the determination.”

Bens-Ncamashe says the succession issue will be debated on Monday as to who will take over the throne of AmaXhosa Kingdom.

“Her Majesty Queen Noloyiso Sandile from the right hand house will be arriving here and again as it is customary. Major pronouncements will be rolling out after her arrival and engagement with the family. The nation will know who succeeds His Majesty King Zwelonke Sigcawu.”

Watch the videos below for more on the story: