The late AmaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile has been revered as a proud traditionalist who embraced modern leadership and championed the empowerment of women.
Delivering the eulogy on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said the queen understood that traditional and modern leadership are not mutually exclusive, but mutually reinforcing.
“The empowerment of women was a cause that was dear to the Queen. She understood only too well, as we do, that enabling women to take their rightful place in all sectors of society is key to the health of any nation,” said the Minster.
Queen Noloyiso, widow of the late King Maxhobha Sandile, passed away on 8 July 2020 due to COVID-19.
Minister Mantashe hailed Queen Noloyiso as a great leader and a steadfast matriarch of the most noble character.
The late Queen – who leaves behind her two children, Crown Prince Jonguxolo and Princess NomaRharhabe Sandile – was not a mother to her children alone, but considered a mother to the whole AmaRharharbe nation.
“Her home was not enclosed by four walls, but was in the community, amongst her people.
“Queen Noloyiso’s life has been tragically cut short, but even in death she continues to impart a positive legacy to our nation,” said the Minister.
With COVID-19 sweeping across the country, the Minister thanked the royal family for disclosing her condition.
“At a time when so many of our people live in fear and uncertainty, we have to break any stigma that exists around Coronavirus, so that the ill and the vulnerable can be cared for, loved and supported.
“COVID-19 is a real threat to us all. But becoming infected with this respiratory disease is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is it any reason to discriminate against others. As a family your actions will serve to encourage respect, tolerance and acceptance,” he said.
Earlier this week South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa lauded Queen Noloyiso as a champion of rural women and also praised her for how she “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.
Paying tribute to his mother, Crown Prince Jonguxolo said he would remember his mother’s teachings.
“You taught us to love and respect people. Your raised us to be God-fearing children. You were not ours alone, we shared you with the AmaRharhabe community.
“Our stories are endless of laughing together, crying together and fighting through tough situations. We love you Mama and will forever love you. Your teachings will stay in our hearts forever,” he said.
Delivering the vote of thanks at the queen’s funeral, Premier Oscar Mabuyane said Queen Noloyiso’s death comes when the community is in need of leadership.
“She leaves us at a time when our people are really in need of leadership that understands the meaning of selflessness and sacrifice.
“She has always been there for her people and we believe the kind of stability and systems she instituted in this Kingdom will actually continue sustaining this Kingdom and play an influential role in the bigger society,” he said.
Mabuyane also took the opportunity to urge the community to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands. – SAnews.gov.za