Traditional leaders have asked government for help in finding the remains of AmaQwathi Chief Stokwe Ndlela.
The anti-colonial hero led the Stokwe Rebellion against the colonial forces and died at the hands of the British in 1881.
The call was made at the enrobing and installation of his descendant, fourth generation AmaQwathi Chief Somidaka Zweloxolo Stokwe, 29, at Seplan Great Place in Cala on Friday.
Ndlela fought against the dispossession of land to the colonialists, the laws imposed by magistrates, the imposition of tax laws such as livestock and property tax, and the Glen Grey Act of 1894.
He spearheaded the AmaQwathi Rebellion, also known as the Stokwe Rebellion against the British colonial forces of Cecil John Rhodes in Lady Frere from 1880 to 1881.
Ndlela, whose grave has yet to be found, is said to have died from wounds in the Lady Frere battle.
“It is time the democratic dispensation assists us in finding his remains so that we can have closure. As long as we have not found his bones we will not rest.
“Unlike in the olden days, these days we have archeologists who can assist us to find his remains,” said Prince Zolile Burns-Ncamashe, speaking on behalf of AmaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile. The queen’s ancestor, AmaRharhabe’s Princess Emma Sandile, a teacher, was married to Ndlela in 1869.
AmaQwathi national head Chief Zwelakhe Dalasile officiated over Friday’s enrobing and installation ceremony.
Stokwe, who took over the reigns in 2010 after the death of his father Chief Mbulelo Gcinisizwe Stokwe, said he would strive to protect his forefather’s legacy.
After Ndlela was killed in 1881, his family was stripped of their traditional leadership rights, which were then re-instated in 1958.
Among the dignitaries on Friday were local government and traditional affairs MEC Fikile Xasa; ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who is of the AmaQwathi clan; ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane; Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders chairman Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima; Contralesa acting provincial chairman Chief Daluxolo Jezile; the organisation’s acting provincial secretary Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana; and political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni, as well as mayors and councillors. — firstname.lastname@example.org