‘Bayethe’ Mpisani Eric Nxumalo, of the Amashangane Traditional Council in Mpumalanga and direct descendant of warrior king Nghunghunyane is no more.
He passed on on Wednesday aged 62.
This was announced by the Gaza Kingdom that fights for the restoration of the kingdom of the exiled leader Nghunghunyane, of which the late hosi Nxumalo was the heir.
The Gaza Kingdom said yesterday: “It is with heavy hearts that the Gaza kingdom announces the untimely death of His Majesty , Beyethe Mpisani Eric Nxumalo. His Majesty Bayethe ME Nxumalo passed away on Wednesday morning after a short illness. He was in his 40th year of rule, that made him the longest serving ruler in the history of the dynasty. The Shangaan nation and the royal family are in deep mourning.”
Many development projects in his area are accredited to the late leader.
During his reign, 15 schools were built six of which are secondary schools.
He raised money to assist in building boreholes in schools to solve the problems of water shortage.
He also declared land for development and malls such as Thulamahashe and Dwarsloop are a case in point.
He also allocated land for agriculture and an example is the New Forest Agricultural Scheme.
The Gaza Kingdom said funeral arrangements were still being finalised and thanked all the people who sent condolences soon after hearing of the news.
The son of hosi Nghunghunyane’s grandson Mafemani Heavyman Nxumalo, the late ME Nxumalo was recognised by the South African government as a senior traditional leader dating back to 1981 when he ascended the throne at the age of 22.
During his time he revived the Gaza kingdom that was founded by his great great grandfather Soshangana.
Soshangane’s son was king Nghunghunyane’s father.
During his reign of conquests, Nghunghunyane was captured by the colonialists in 1895 and they took him to Portugal where he was banished and exiled.
“The Lion of Gaza”, as Nghunghunyane was known was taken to the island of Tarceira in the Azores where he died in 1906.
A statue of Nghunghunyane was erected in Giyani, the capital of the former Gazankulu homeland by the then premier Sello Moloto.
It the place where the Gaza Kingdom holds its annual event, the Nghunghunyane Day, where cultural activities take place.
A member of the family Hos Magona, real names Busa Nxumalo, confirmed the death of the direct descendant of “The Lion of Gaza” as Nghunghunyane was called.
Relaying the message to all Xitsonga speaking traditional leaders, the chairperson of the Vatsonga Machangana Royal Unity Hosi Lwandlamuni Nwamitwa said: “It is with deepest sympathy that we announce the passing on of one of our own, His Royal Majesty Hosi Nxumalo (Bayethe) of the AmashanganeTraditional Council. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Hosi Dr Nwamitwa II.”