“When it was time to put the king to rest, the government did not recognise the AmaFaku as a royal family. There are rituals that need to be performed specifically by the king, like the placing of the hide on the casket for the last time.
“After we appointed our acting king, we sent the particulars of the acting king to the office of premier Oscar Mabuyane. Then a distant relative named Stella, who has been at loggerheads with the king, sent a letter to the premier saying her brother is the rightful heir.”
Sigcau said Mabuyane wrote back, saying “he is conflicted and confused” by the submission of the two names.
“We told the government they should not be confused. We, as the royal family, have appointed an acting king from where the late king comes from. We told the premier to rectify this or we are going to court and they ignored this.”
Sigcau said it was only the presidency that acknowledged receipt of the letter.
“That is why we filed an urgent court application, to remind the government and all parties involved that there is a certain responsibly a king needs to do at the funeral. The government wanted to deal with the matter after the funeral and we felt the funeral could not continue because we will not allow the government to dictate to us our customs and traditions as AmaMpondo.
“The funeral will continue and will be led by acting king Dumelani Sigcau.”
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.