Africa-Press – South-Africa. Dramatic scenes played out at the state funeral of the late King of Amampondo, Zanozuko Sigcau, when his younger brother, Prince Mbasa Sigcau, interrupted the service by taking to the podium to criticise a faction of the royal family, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the government for allegedly hijacking the service.
Sigcau, 47, died at a Durban hospital on 31 May after falling ill over the Easter weekend.
The funeral took place at the Ndimakude Great Palace in Flagstaff in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday.
Mbasa Sigcau, a Rhodes University BCom graduate, told mourners that the Mthatha High Court had granted a court order interdicting another faction of the royal family from participating in the proceedings.
In the court order, Ramaphosa, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, are listed as respondents one to three, while members of the royal family, Stella Sigcau II and Nobandla Sigcau, are respondents six and seven respectively.
The court order was primarily launched to prevent Stella and Nobandla from the proceedings and for Ramaphosa and his government officials to only engage with late king’s uncle, Prince Dumelani Sigcau, regarding the funeral arrangements and proceedings.
The court order interdicted Stella Sigcau II and Nobandla Sigcau for “unlawful interference with the official funeral arrangements of the late King”.
When the running order of the funeral allegedly deviated from the court order, Mbasa Sigcau jumped to the stage and bumped aside Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth from the podium before launching into a tirade.
“Apologies to everyone, I want to correct a lot of things. There is a court order granted yesterday against the president and few other respondents, yet, today we are being subjected to strange decisions,” he said.
“These things must be corrected because the fear is that if we don’t present an opposing view, there will be a misconception that we are in agreement with this mess that were are seeing here,” said Mbasa Sicgau.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Development Zoleka Capa tried in vain to convince him to stop and to step down from the podium.
However, Mbasa Sicgau shrugged off Capa’s hands from his shoulders and accused her of being dishonest, adding that there were many dishonest people within the government.
In a televised interview with journalists after the funeral, Mbasa Sigcau questioned the presence of the respondents listed in the court order and their alleged participation in the funeral, saying they had undermined the court order.
Ramaphosa later delivered the eulogy at the category 1 state funeral also attended by billionaire businessman and soccer boss Patrice Motsepe.
A video of Mbasa Sicgau’s speech has gone viral and sparked a debate online.
Some lauded him for speaking his mind, while others thought it was disrespectful, given that it was at a funeral.