The chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Ikosi Sipho Mahlangu, has been laid to rest in his rural village of Matshiding in Mpumalanga.

He succumbed to COVID-19-related complications last Friday. Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers attended the special funeral, which was held under strict COVID-19 health protocols.

He was described as one of the influential traditional leaders who fought for the development of the rural economy.

“He was not just Inkosi, he was a person who loved development and he was in the fore front of the development rural areas both economically and he wanted young people to have skills, he wanted women to be respected, cherished and given opportunity in areas endeavour,” said Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who delivered the eulogy at the funeral.

Dlamini-Zuma says government will continue with the master plan to ensure that rural communities are developed.

Traditional leaders in and around Kwamhlanga hailed him as a great leader. Some of the traditional leaders say he always encouraged them to create business.

The Ndzundza Traditional Council says the death of Ikosi Mahlangu has deeply affected the royal family.

However, the council says, it will continue to advance his wishes of ensuring that communities are developed.

“We as Ndzudza Mabhoko Traditional Council we are very sad about passing of Ikosi Sipho Mahlangu but now we are trying to sit down as a traditional council and to  take whatever he was doing but we going to make sure that doing to sit down  make sure our nation are not disappeared,” said the Council secretary, Vusi Mahlangu.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, urged South Africans to support government in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

Lamola says Mahlangu’s contributions in the fight against COVID-19 have assisted government.

“His contribution guided us how to deal with the issues of COVID-19 even in rural areas; how to ensure that people are vaccinated. The numbers that you see today is because of him and he was also in the fore front. So as country we lost a very great patriot, is real and the Delta variant is very fatal,” adds Lamola.

In the video below, Minister Dlamini-Zuma delivers eulogy during the Special Official Funeral:

Ikosi Mahlangu went to the National House of Traditional leaders after the passing on of the late Kgoshi Frans Makgeru in 2014 and became the deputy chairperson of the House of Traditional leaders.

Ikosi Mahlangu was elected an executive member of the national house in 2012 and led the representation from the Mpumalanga Provincial House.