The Premier of KwaZulu Natal has appointed Martin Mbuyazi as an administrator to administer over the affairs of the Mbonambi Traditional Council.
The council has been without a traditional leader following the death of Inkosi Mtholeni Mbuyazi due to a legal wrangle over who should succeed him.
The late Inkosi Mtholeni Mbuyazi passed away in 2005. The Mbuyazi family then chose Sibusiso Mbuyazi as his successor. He was then officially installed as Inkosi in 2007.
However the family then went to the Premier to say that an error had occurred and that they would now like to install Mkhanyiseni as an Inkosi. The then Premier rescinded the appointment of Sibusiso and issued a letter recognising Mkhanyiseni as Inkosi.
However Sibusiso then went to court to have himself reinstated as Inkosi. The Premier also went to court to oppose the application by Sibusiso. The court then ordered that both Sibusiso and Mkhanyiseni not be appointed as either Inkosi or as an interim administrator up until the matter is concluded. During the court process Sibusiso passed on. However his wife MaMkhize then filed fresh papers bringing the matter back to court.
The matter still remains in court however the dispute was beginning to affect the stability of the community of Mbuyazi in Mbonambi due to endless protests. This also affected operations at the nearby RBM whose Sokhulu mine in Mbonambi was closed down several times owing to the protests.
The ongoing feud was also stalling a six billion investment by RBM into the area.
“As government we view RBM as a strategic partner and mining operations make a significant contribution to our economy. As government we could no longer stand by and watch the growing instability in this area as the lives of people were also at stake. We appealed many times to the family to try resolve this issue on their own but the family failed to do so. We then had to use the powers given to us by the law to appoint an administrator who will work towards bringing about stability and unity in this area while the case continues in court. However we have told him that he is only an administrator and nothing more and that once the court rules on who should succeed Inkosi Mtholeni he has to step back and allow that person to lead with no resistance,” said Premier Mchunu.
Premier Mchunu with Martin Mbuyazi who has been appointed as administrator and Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube