It is with great sadness to learn of the untimely passing of iNkosi Sipho Mahlangu, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders of South Africa who I had an honour to have worked with as the Chairperson of the Alfred Nzo Local House of Traditional Leaders of South Africa as well as the Senior Traditional Leader of Lwandlolubomvu Traditional Council. A visionary, humble and hardworking leader who made an enormous and instrumental contribution to the Institution of Traditional Leadership was committed to poverty alleviation, upholding of culture and heritage as well as economic development in the rural areas. He had a vision of rural communities and Traditional Leaders being in charge of their economy to improve the standard of living of the people which we view as imperative as the Traditional Leaders of the Alfred Nzo Local House of Traditional Leaders.
His love for people and his commitment to the unity in a diversity of cultures led to the relations created with other nations including with the Mpondo Kingdom. These relations extended to a strong bond of friendship between our families. This also led to mutual reciprocal support of cultural activities to share and exchange our diversity. In 2006 he attended the commemoration of the late ANC liberation activist Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau and the launch of the Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival and continued to attend and support our various cultural and rural development initiatives and activities. We had the honour of having him delivering a key note address on 30 April 2021 where Mpondo Kings and Chiefs were honoured by the Freedom Park in Pretoria for the role they played in the colonial resistance and in the liberation struggle.
South Africa and the traditional leadership at large have lost a true patriot, a young progressive leader who leaves a huge legacy behind. The loss of the Ndzundza Mabhoko nation is our loss. The loss of the Ndebele Kingdom is our loss. Our prayers are with Nkosi Sipho Mahlangu’s wife and children said Nkosi Jongilanga Sigcau, Chairperson of the Alfred Nzo Local House of Traditional Leaders.
The Alfred Nzo Local House of Traditional Leaders of South Africa and the Lwandlolubomvu Traditional Council convey their deepest condolences to the Mahlangu Royal family, Ndzundza Mabhoko nation and the kwaNdebele Kingdom.