Flags to fly at half-mast for Queen Noloyiso

Queen Noloyiso Sandile
Queen Noloyiso Sandile

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared the funeral of Queen Noloyiso Sandile  Special Official Funeral Category 1.

Queen Noloyiso Sandile, who was the regent of AmaRharhabe Kingdom for almost 10 years, will be buried at Mngqesha Great Place near King William’s Town on Sunday.

In terms of the presidential declaration, the national flag will fly at half-mast from Saturday until Sunday night.

“The president wishes the royal household and the AmaRharhabe well as they prepare to bid farewell to a formidable leader and beloved queen,” Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko said in a statement on Friday night.

Queen Noloyiso died of a Covid-19-related illness.

Other royals in the province have also died from or contracted the virus.

Royal spokesperson Nkosi Xhanti Sigcawu said the queen’s funeral would fall in line with Covid-19 regulations.

“We will ensure that the health of all of those who attend will not be compromised,'' said Sigcawu.

According to AmaRharhabe tradition, a successor is named on the day of the funeral.

Sigcawu could not confirm whether this would happen on this occasion.

The queen was also a Zulu princess and sister to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Queen Noloyisa is not the only Eastern Cape royal to have died after contracting Covid-19 in the past few weeks.

Nkosi Sandile Mgudlwa, head of AmaJumba Traditional Council in Ngcobo, also die this week and was buried on Thursday.

Mgudlwa’s family spokesperson, Nkosi Qalavela Mgudlwa, confirmed that he had died of Covid-19.

Qalavele said they had held a private burial in line with Covid-19 regulations on Thursday.

''A funeral service was to be held on Saturday, but we have postponed it indefinitely after Nkosi Sandile’s wife also tested positive for Covid-19 and is isolation.

“Their children were only tested on Thursday and are in quarantine.

“We pray the wife recovers speedily and the children test negative,” said Qalavele.

Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa, the head of AmaHegebe, who tested positive for Covid-19 on June 12, has since recovered

''Even before the end of 14 days I felt healed,” Holomisa said.

“Doctors confirmed that after the mandatory 14 days.

Traditional leaders are not immune to Covid-19.''

He said private burials and bodies being buried quickly after death were in line with African tradition.

On getting word of the queen’s death this week, Ramaphosa said: “Queen Noloyiso played a significant role in the affirmation of traditional values and leadership in SA society at large, and in the development of her kingdom and the Eastern Cape more broadly.”

The queen died on Wednesday at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane.

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