AmaXhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu has been laid to rest at Nqadu Great Place, in Willowvale, in the Eastern Cape.

He has been described as a unifier, philanthropist and community builder.

Speaking at the funeral, President Cyril Ramaphosa described his leadership as outstanding because he stood firm for what he believed in.

Delivering the eulogy, President Cyril Ramaphosa says King Mpendulo Sigcawu was still engaging the government on his mission to meet the British Royal family regarding the return of King Hintsa’s head, who was killed in 1835 by the British army.

The President says King Sigcawu departed while government is still fighting poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“The king has left us when we still have so much to do to transform our country; we are going through difficult times as we seek to build our economy and our country to lead us to prosperity. Our people are suffering and unemployed.”

Former President Thabo Mbeki also added that the King was an outstanding traditional leader.

“We have lost an outstanding leader of our people, all of us present here are perfectly familiar with the great challenges our country faces. These include such important matters such as poverty unemployment, inequality, violent crime against women and children, the scourge of corruption affecting both the public and private sectors.”

Mbeki says the king was against xenophobic attacks.

“He firmly denounced the attacks against foreign nationals in our country and calling out, down with xenophobia in our country. The gross mismanagement of the state-owned corporations, leading to multiple problems for the country and people. His Majesty King Sigcawu took this struggle as his own, to contribute whatever he could successfully to address the challenges.”

Traditional leaders were in charge of the first segment of the programme, with Amandbele King Makhosonke Mabena saying that they will miss the late King who stood firm for what he believed in.

“His life remains a lesson to all of us to respect, tolerate and accept one another across tribal lines. His Majesty support of other Kings in the country was enormous. He always saw a light in the dark. He was always hopeful, we will miss him dearly.”

Among the dignitaries were businessman Patrice Matsepe, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa , EFF Leader Julius Malema and ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

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