Cracks are showing in the AmaXhosa Royal Kingdom in the Eastern Cape over the throne left vacant by the late King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu. King Sigcawu died in 2019.

The Kingdom has announced High Commissioner to Malawi Prince Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu as the new King of AmaXhosa.

The new king is the brother to the late King Sigcawu from the right-hand house of King Xolilizwe Sigcawu.

Chief Dumehleli Mapasa has been acting in this position before passing away in September, leaving the throne vacant. The family admits the announcement took longer due to infighting since King Sigcawu departed.

The royalty says this was because the new king’s name Prince Ahlangene was contested by another group.

“There were people who were eyeing the position. They are not even hereditary they were not deserving. Therefore they tried to stall processes and we cannot allow such,” says Chief Magwa Salakuphathwa.

The new king says he is equal to the mammoth task ahead.

“I am happy the elders entrusted me with this responsibility. I will do everything in my power to lead. I know it will be difficult, but I am ready,” says Prince Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcawu.

But not everyone has welcomed the appointment of the new king. Sigcawu family spokesperson Prince Xhanti says the family did not endorse the decision of the new king.

“What they are doing is not endorsed by us. It’s just a group of people doing their own thing. We don’t have a king yet and in due time, we will follow process and announce the rightful king.”

The new king will resign as an Ambassador before assuming his duties. The royal kingdom has called a meeting of all the houses on Sunday and Tuesday to chart a way forward.