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Eastern Cape
Feb 8 2013 12:54AM
 
Hintsa’s skull divides Xhosas
DIGNITY: Chief Nicholas Gcaleka says he wants King Hintsa’s skull. Picture: Sithandiwe Velaphi
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SITHANDIWE VELAPHI

The Xhosa kingdom says it was much more concerned about how King Hintsa of Khawuta died and not when his skull, which is being kept at a university in the Western Cape, would be buried.

This was after Chief Nicholas Gcaleka who is known as the man who brought the 18th century king’s skull from Scotland in 1996, lashed out at the kingdom for delaying its burial.

Hintsa was captured by the British during the Cape Frontier Wars in 1835 and was shot and killed while trying to escape, resulting in him becoming a martyr to the Xhosa people.

His body was subsequently dismembered by troops in search of grisly mementoes and his head preserved and taken back to Britain.

The current Xhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, who is Hintsa’s great great- grandson recently said that he wanted the British Queen Elizabeth II to come to Nqadu in Willowvale, the Xhosa’s Great Place, and apologise for the killing of his ancestor.

Spokesperson of the Xhosa kingdom, Xolani Mkiva, said over time the kingdom had discussed the manner in which King Hintsa died.

“Up to this stage the kingdom is still much concerned about the way in which his majesty died. I can confirm that the kingdom willin due course sit to discuss the motion which the current monarch (Zwelonke) raised with President Jacob Zuma in December.”

Mkiva did not divulge reasons why the kingdom would not discuss the King Hintsa’s skull.

Mkiva also did not specify when the kingdom would sit for discussions.

Gcaleka said he was upset about the developments. “I want the skull to be buried. They don’t believe that the skull is Hintsa’s,” he said, adding that he went to Scotland following the dream which directed him to fetch the skull.

Gcaleka said the delay in the burial of the skull was the cause of concern and problematic to the country. He further said: “South Africa belongs to the forefathers of this land, our ancestors and if we continue to not value our traditions, we would still have to experience difficulties for the foreseeable future.

“I hear our leaders talking about recession and unemployment but I say we need to bury the skull and stop the wrath of their ancestors.”

provinces@thenewage.co.za

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