President Cyril Ramaphosa reminded South Africans that no one was immune from the coronavirus and emphasized the need for the country to unite in its fight against the pandemic, following the death of AmaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile earlier this week.
In a eulogy delivered at the funeral of Queen Noloyiso on Sunday, delivered on his behalf by Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, Ramaphosa issued the warning after the Queen died following a short illness, as well as testing positive for Covid-19.
The funeral was held at Mngqesha Great Place near King William’s Town on Sunday morning, after the 56-year-old died on Wednesday.
“There are no ‘royal issues’ or ‘traditional issues’, there are issues that face us all as a nation. The many challenges we face as a country can only be overcome if we work together, side by side.
“The grave threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic is not one of the urban areas alone, of the rich or of the poor. The passing of the Queen as a result of coronavirus serves as a stark reminder that none of us are immune.”
He said it was only through vigilance and extreme caution on the part of South African citizens, that the pandemic would be overcome.
“I have no doubt that had she lived, our Queen would have been at the forefront of educating our communities, in leading by example, in encouraging acceptance of those infected with coronavirus, and in caring for the ill.”
He described Queen Noloyiso as someone known for her humility, compassion and community activism.
“She understood the greatest duty of leadership is to be ever-present amongst the people, and to be alive to their concerns and needs.”
Queen Noloyiso was born Nomusa Zulu to late Zulu King Cyprian Bhekuzulu ka Solomon, who is also the father of King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu.
She married AmaRharhabe King Maxhoba Sandile in 1988.
Following King Sandile’s passing in 2011, Queen Noloyiso ascended to the throne as the acting Queen until her son, Prince Jonguxolo Sandile, came of age.
According to Dispatch Live, Crown Prince Jonguxolo Vululwandle Sandile was announced as the new king of the AmaRharhabe nation during the funeral. The official announcement was made by the AmaXhosa Kingdom’s Nkosi Xhanti Sigcawu, a senior Gcaleka royal household family member.
Ramaphosa said he was looking forward to working with the 28-year-old in addressing the many challenges their community faced, “foremost amongst them economic underdevelopment, land degradation and poverty”.