SPEECHES: Address by Minister for Public Service and Administration Ms Faith Muthambi, MP, during the funeral of Hosi Shitlhangoma James Maluleke Xigalo, Xigalo Traditional Community

Date: 13 Oct 2017

Programme directors;

The bereaved family of Hosi Maluleke Xigalo;

The Xigalo Traditional Council;

Leaders of the Van’wanati clan;

Minister of Transport Honourable Joe Maswanganyi;

MEC of Coghsta in Limpopo Honourable Makoma Makhurupetje;v

Cllr Mawela, who is representing the Executive Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality;

Mayor of LIM345 Municipality Cllr Joyce Bila;

Councillors from the District and Local Municipalities;

Leadership of CONTRALESA, led here by Hosi Shigamani;

Leadership of the Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders, represented here by Kgosi Malesela Dikgale;

Khosi Vho-Mashamba;

Chairperson of Vatsonga Royal Traditional Unit Hosi N’wamitwa;

Representatives of various sectors;

Leadership of all religious denominations;

The Community of LIM 345 Local Municipality;

Ladies and gentlemen;

We gather here today to bid farewell to a true African giant. We bid farewell to a Traditional Leader of our people who understood only too well the great responsibility that history had thrust upon him. We bid farewell to a Chief who was much loved, respected and admired.

We stand with a heavy heart, for we realise that one of the best among us has departed. We have lost a person who embodied so much of that to which we all aspire.

I still recall how shaken and saddened I was when I heard that Hosi Xigalo was no more. Together with my colleagues we have sent our deepest condolences to the family, the Traditional Council, and the entire community he led. I must confess that not only myself, but all my colleagues who have interacted with Hosi Xigalo were shattered when they leant of his passing.

This shows the kind of person that he was. Everyone who have interacted with him was in one way or the other touched by his humility, simplicity, and warmth.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

As much as we are gathered here to mourn this great loss, we must celebrate the life of our beloved Chief, more especially on this occasion of bidding him a final farewell.

Although I was unable to attend the memorial service due to other commitments, I was happy when I was informed that the mood was celebratory and that those who worked, lived, and interacted with the late Hosi Xigalo managed to celebrate his life during the event.

His life deserves to be celebrated indeed.

The late Hosi Xigalo always loved the people, he didn’t hold grudges, and he was always clean, and he had sense for fashion. I am told that he was well know at John Graig clothing store, and other designer labels stores. We will always remember him by his unique Black leather jacket and stylish hats. He loved himself, which is why he also loved other people.

It is a lesson that all of us can learn from him, that we must love ourselves so that we can also love others. And we must always be clean because “cleanliness is next to godliness”.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Late Chief Xigalo always promoted togetherness and unity. This is another lesson we can learn from his life. He believed in the unity of African people and he was a unifier. It was widely reported in the news when he allowed the three Somalian nationals into his community’s initiation schools during the winter season this year. In them he saw human beings, and Africans in particular, and he believed that they belong to his community because they are fellow Africans. He did not believe that African people should be divided because of the borders which were imposed by the colonialists.

As South Africans we must strive to learn about our continent and pass such knowledge to future generations. We must also make it our business to learn about the African Union’s agenda for 2063, which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent.

We must teach our children about the African cultures and values, so that they can embrace their heritage. In that way they will know the history and important role of traditional leadership in society. In this way we will be honouring the legacy of our beloved “Hosi Stapura”, because he believed in the unity of Africans and in the progressive role of traditional leadership.


The great man we are laying to rest today believed that traditional leaders have an active role to play in the governance structures of our democracy, which is something that our Government has always promoted.

Chapter 11 of the Constitution states that the institution, status and roles of traditional leadership, according to customary law, are recognised.

Government acknowledges the critical role of traditional leadership institutions in South Africa’s constitutional democracy and in communities, particularly in relation to the rural development strategy. It therefore remains committed to strengthening the institution of traditional leadership.

To this end, numerous pieces of legislation have been passed and various programmes implemented to ensure that traditional leadership makes an important contribution to the development of society.

All these pieces of legislation and developments regarding the structures of traditional leadership were developed to enable our leaders to be part of cooperative governance systems.

Hosi Xigalo never took a back seat, or watched from a distance when things were happening in his area. He participated actively and contributed with ideas, motivation, and even with pieces of land, since we know that land is an important factor of production.

During His reign, two high schools were constructed, which are; Dlamani and Thambisa, as well as a primary school are called Shimambani. He also pushed for the construction of Xigalo Fire Station, Cambridge and U-Save Supermarkets, which will be open soon. He also initiated to start Xigalo Agricultural project, Xigalo Old age Home, Ayob Supermarket, Mugijima complex and other projects, and he was looking forward for the following new development in each section; Community hall, RDP Houses, Sports Facilities and Clinic.

He was a visionary who always thought of improving the living conditions of his people, and he led from the front.

There is also a good lesson to be learnt, more especially by his colleagues in the traditional leadership space. As traditional leaders, you must never take a back seat and watch things happen. Traditional leaders must work together with political leaders for the benefit of the communities.

What is interesting is that unlike us political leaders who are elected for a specific terms of office, traditional leaders lead throughout their lifetime, and that gives them an opportunity to have good memories and knowledge of all development projects. They can therefore help in ensuring that there is continuity of development projects even when politicians who initiated the projects are no longer in office.

Hosi Xigalo understood our cooperative governance system. I can remember during the opening ceremony of our Constituency Office in Malamulele, which I officiated where Hosi Shigalo was in a jovial mood telling the gathering that “the opening of the Constituency Office is a positive development for the area and that it will help in speeding up service delivery”.

Hosi Xigalo was one of the Senior Traditional Leaders in the Malamulele Constituency, who worked closely with me in various community development Projects such as; digital migration, back to school campaigns, social cohesion projects, and crime prevention initiatives.

He had a burning desire to community development, and I therefore urge all of you gathered here to have the same spirit.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is a source of great satisfaction that “Hosi Stapura” outlived the system that sought permanently to enslave his people. It is a source of great satisfaction that he was able to witness, and participate in the birth of a united and democratic South Africa, which sought to restore to his people their human rights and dignity.

Throughout the history of our land, our leaders have been called upon to confront the many and various challenges our people have faced. For over three hundred years, our people found themselves at the mercy of a rapacious system of colonial and racial dispossession.

In conclusion;

I am happy that the community here lived to witness the traditional leadership of Hosi Xigalo, because there many lessons that can be drawn from his life and leadership style. All of us here, from politicians, traditional leaders, members of the community, and our young people because they are the future leaders, can learn good things from the life of our beloved late Hosi.

Since the Chief has departed, we urge members of this continue to continue respecting the traditional leadership, as you respected this great man we are laying to rest here today.

To the family; we wish you strength and courage, and we hope that you will honour the legacy of your father by remaining united and by continuing to service your community.

To all traditional leaders; let us continue to work together in governing our people and in creating a better life for them. Whenever you require strength and courage, you must always look into the life of Hosi Xigalo because has enriched our understanding of leadership, duty and responsibility.

Etlela hi ku rhula M’nwanati, Hosi Xithlangoma James Maluleke Xigalo

I thank you!

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