Item 712 - Notes for a speech by President Nelson Mandela at the installation of Chief Sango Phathekile Holomisa

Identity area

Reference code



Notes for a speech by President Nelson Mandela at the installation of Chief Sango Phathekile Holomisa


  • 1999-04-17 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

South African Government Information website

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Installation of Chief Holomisa

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



A! Zwelibanzi!;

Chief Sango Phathekile Holomisa;

Zonke Iinkosi Zomthonyama;

His Grace, The Most Revd. Ndungane;

Premier of the Eastern Cape;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Chief Phathekile Holomisa - A! Dilizintaba - Son of the Hegebe tribe, it is ceremonies like these that remind us of who we are, where we come from and of what has happened since then. They remind us of our pride as a nation. They remind us also that liberation brought the possibility of restoring the dignity of traditional leaders.

And so today we join hands as citizens of a democratic South Africa - government, traditional leaders and the community - to inaugurate a leader of our people.

It is a great honour to attend the installation of my Comrade and Chief Phathekile Holomisa as heir to the Hegebe traditional leadership. The Hegebe tribe is renowned for its legacy of struggle against oppression, from the days of Chief Bazindlovu Holomisa and Chief Jongisizwe Holomisa, in keeping with its having been a part of the Tembu Kingdom under King Sabata Dalindyebo.

Our oppressors sought constantly to undermine traditional authority and to separate the leaders from their own people, and they did sometimes succeed. However true leaders managed to redirect their energies towards the advancement and development of their own people.

The challenge now is to marry our two traditions - traditional authority and electoral democracy - into one, so that we can better improve the lives of our people. Today we recognise one who exercised his leadership in embracing that challenge: as part of the delegation of traditional leaders that went to Zambia in 1988 to meet with President OR Tambo; as President of Contralesa; and as an ANC Member of Parliament.

Democracy has brought a better life for traditional leaders. Government has demonstrated its faith in traditional leaders and acknowledged the role they can play in building our nation. New national and provincial houses of traditional leaders allow them to help determine provincial and national policy. Together we are seeking the best way for traditional leaders to play a role in local government.

The task of marrying our two traditions is still to be completed. It must be fulfilled as we reconstruct and develop of a society shattered by apartheid, in particular our rural areas. We must put together what was broken when communities were displaced and forcibly removed from their land; when the migrant labour system separated families and plunged whole regions of our country into poverty; when Bantustans were used to divide us as people.

Democracy has brought us the chance to mend the fabric our society and make our country a better place for all. In the past five years we have fought to reshape our government so that it will serve not a minority but all the people of our country. The old apartheid laws have been swept away and new laws have been passed to make change possible. Though progress has been difficult the changes are happening and they are there for all of us to see.

Access to basic services that were just a dream for most South Africans, especially in rural areas, have begun to change the lives of millions - three million more people with access to clean water; three million people who have been housed; telephones connected to two million households and electricity to three million.

This is the start of a task that cannot be completed over night, but together we can speed up delivery and reach those whose needs must still be met.

But there is one critical matter that must be addressed if we are to return our land to prosperity.

The oppression of our people was sustained by a system that created division out of our rich diversity. As our forebears overcome the disunity that stood in the way of our regaining our freedom; so today our traditional leaders, along with our religious leaders, must be in the forefront of fighting for peace and unity amongst the people. In so doing, they will also be strengthening themselves as institutions - religious and traditional - because their position will be all the more firmly established when there is peace and the steady improvement in the lives of the people that peace makes possible.

As we approach our second democratic elections, I take this opportunity to appeal to our traditional leaders, and to all others with influence in our society, to ensure that our people go out in their numbers and vote. Participation is the lifeblood of democracy. We must emerge from these elections even more united as a nation, so that with a new generation of leaders we can move still faster along the road to a better life.

I congratulate you Chief Phathekile Sango Holomisa on your official assumption of your responsibilities. From my retirement in Qunu I will observe with interest how you and other traditional leaders work towards taking our people to the next century.

To the extent that your leadership helps improve the lives of the people, to the extent that it fosters the best of African culture and tradition, and above all to the extent that it fosters unity and peace amongst the people, my days will be filled with contentment.

May you enjoy many of good life and good relationship with your people and that of South Africa at large.

A! Dilizintaba!

I thank you all.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information website. Accessioned on 13/12/06 by Helen Joannides




Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres