President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness and extended condolences at the passing of Regent of the Royal House of the amaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile.
“We join the Great Place of Mngqesha and amaRharhabe in mourning her passing; at the same time we pay tribute to her for her deep and unwavering commitment to the upliftment of her people and to her country. May her soul rest in peace,” said the President.
Queen Noloyiso (56), widow of the late King Maxhobha Sandile, passed away on 8 July 2020 following a short illness.
The amaRharhabe has been an independent sovereign kingship since the 18th century.
Its status was affirmed by a 2016 North Gauteng High Court judgment, overturning an earlier decision by the Nhlapo Commission.
The President has described the late queen as ‘a bastion of traditional values and an inspiring and principled leader of her people’. Queen Noloyiso took the reins in 2011 after the death of her husband.
President Ramaphosa extended his condolences to the Royal Household, amaRharhabe and the broader traditional communities and society.
“Queen Noloyiso played a significant role in the affirmation of traditional values and leadership in South African society at large, and in the development of her kingdom and the Eastern Cape more broadly.
“Under her able leadership, the amaRharhabe firmly grasped the nettle of change and adapted to the demands of modern society, all the while holding proudly to their history, traditions and identity,” said President Ramaphosa.
The President lauded Queen Noloyiso as a champion of rural women who challenged patriarchy in her community and gave a voice to its female constituents.
“At a time when we face a grave public health emergency in the form of Coronavirus, Queen Noloyiso actively mobilized support for the national effort to combat the pandemic, including calling on communities to halt traditional initiations.
“The united stand taken by the seven kingdoms in this regard was a critical intervention to save lives, and we owe a debt to the Queen for the role she played,” President Ramaphosa added.
Nqaba Bhanga – DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader – said: “I urge the AmaRharhabe nation to take solace in the knowledge that Queen Noloyiso served her people with courage and humility.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends as well as the AmaRharhabe nation.”
Sources – SAnews.gov.za and DA press statement