Kings, Paramount chiefs and Chiefs of South Africa

South Africa is a rich nation full of different tribes and cultures that are celebrated on national heritage day. Most of these tribes have had monarchical institutions at either kingdom level or chieftancy levels. Some are officially recognised by government as kings, others as Principal traditional leaders, others as chiefs. The recognition issue is always debatable and their people call them kings

Some of these traditional leaders sit in the Nationa House of Traditional and Khoisan leaders whilst there are also members of the provincial houses of traditional leaders in Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West.

Below are a list of kings of South Africa

King (Ingonyama) of AmaZulu

King (Ingonyama) Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini is the current King of Zulu Kingdom of AmaZulu people, KwaZulu Natal Province since 2021. He succeeded his late father King Goodwill Zwelithini after he was named successor by his late mother Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu

King (Kumkani) of AmaXhosa

King(Kumkani) Ahlangene Cyprian Vulikhaya Sigcawu aah Vulikhaya is the current King of Xhosa Kingdom of AmaXhosa people, Eastern Cape Province since 2020. He succeeded his late brother King Zwelonke Mpendulo Calvin Sigcawu and is son to late King Xolilizwe

King (Ingwenyama) of AmaNdebele

King(Ingwenyama) Makhosoke II Enock Mabhena is the current King of Ndebele Kingdom of AmaNdebele, Mpumalanga province since 1980s. He is from the Mabhena clan of Ndebele. He succeeded his late father

King (Kumkani) of AmaMpondo

late King(Kumkani) Zanozuko Sigcau (died 2022) was the King of Mpondo Kingdom of Amampondo people, Eastern Cape province. He was from the Qaukeni great royal house of Mpondo

Currently there are two sides of the royal family each with their own successor to the throne, Princess Wezizwe Sigcau (Daughter of late King Justice Mpondombini Sigcau) and Prince Yolisa Sigcau (Son of late King Zanozuko Sigcau)

King (Kumkani) of AbaThembu

King(Kumkani) Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo aah Zwelibanzi is the current King of Thembu Kingdom of AbaThembu people, Eastern Cape since 1987. He succeeded his late father King Sabata Dalindyebo

King (Khosikhulu) of VhaVenda

Cuurently in Regency by Prince Vho Japan David Mphephu- Uncle to Toni Mphephu and Grand uncle to Princess Masindi who are both in court succession wrangles over the throne

King (Kgoshikgolo) of BaPedi

Currently in Regency under Queen mother Manyaku Thulare after the 2021 passing of her son late King (Kgoshikgolo) Victor Thulare III of Pedi Kingdom, BaPedi people, Limpopo Province

Queen (Modjadji) of BaLobedu

South Africas only ‘Queendom’ of the BaLobedu people, Limpopo Province ruled only by women.

Initial successor to the throne was Princess Masalanabo who was expected to suceed her late mother Queen Makobo Modjadji VI who passed on in 2005. Modjadji royal house is currently in succesion wrangles between having Queen Masalanabo VII or switching it to a Kingship under her brother Prince Lekukela Modjadji.

King (Kumkani) of AmaMpondomise

King(Kumkani) Zwelozuko Luzuko Matiwane is the king of Mpondomise kingdom of AmaMpondomise people, Eastern Cape province. He succeeded his late father after many years of family succession battles

King (Kumkani) of AmaRharhabe

King(Kumkani) Jonguxolo kaSandile aah Vululwandle is the current King of Rharhabe Kingdom of AmaRharhabe people, Eastern cape province. He succeeded his father late King Maxhoba Sandile in 2011 under the regency of his mother late Queen regent Noloyiso Zulu Sandile who passed on in 2020

King (Ingwenyama) of AmaNdzundza Mabhoko Ndebele

King (Ingwenyama) Mabhoko III Mbusi Mahlangu is the current King of Ndzundza Mabhoko clan of Ndebele, South Africa. He succeeded his Father late King Mayisha III Cornelius Mahlangu in 2005. His mother is Queen mother Siphila Dlamini Mahlangu, born Princess of Eswatini

Ndzundza are a brother clan of Manala and have been a separate monarchy for many years, They are still fighting for Kingship recognition by South African government.

King (Kumkani) of AmaMpondo aseNyandeni

King Mangaliso Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase II is the King of Western pondoland or amaMpondo aseNyandeni kingdom, South Africa. He is the son of Prince Mabalengwe Ndamase and the late Queen mother Bhongolwethu Ndamase(Princess of Eswatini). He therefore succeeded his late grandfather King Tutor Ndamase in 1997 under regency of his mother. Took over in 2008

This is a right royal house under Qaukeni great royal house, they have however been autonomous for many years since 1845. They are still fighting for Kingship recognition by South African government.

King (Ingonyama) of AmaHlubi

King (Ingonyama) Langalibalele II Hadebe is the reigning monarch of Hlubi people or amaHlubi. He has been monarch since September 1976 and resides at Estcourt (Mtshezi) at Emahlutshini, KwaZuluNatal. The Hlubi royal dynasty and amaHlubi are still fighting for kingship recognition officially by South African government like many other tribes.

King (Kgosi) of BaFokeng

King /Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the current 36th King of Bafokeng people. He succeded his late brother Mollwane Molotlegi Lebone ii in 2000. He is President of the Mineral Rights Association of Indigenous People of South Africa and was one a significant negotiators in the β€œnew” (2012) mining legislation, seeking to advance black participation in the sector.

Morenaemoholo (King) of BaKoena ba Mopeli

Morenaemoholo Moremoholo Motebang Mopeli is the current monarch of BaKoena ba Mopeli, Qwaqwa, Free state, South Africa. He succeeded his late brother Thokoana Mopeli in 2018 and was crowned the same year. He is the son of late Morena Motebang and Mofumahadi MaThokoana

BaKoena ba Mopeli people are descendants of Paulus Mopeli, a younger brother of King Moshoeshoe I of Lesotho. This was the reason why the south African government nhlapo commission refused kingship recognition. Therefore the two royal families are related by blood.

Morenaemoholo (King) of BaTlokoa ba Mota

Morenaemoholo M.D Mota has been monarch of the BaTlokoa ba Mota since 2016.

Morena (King) of BaKhlokoe

Morena Letsitsa Paulos Moloi is the konarch of the Bakholokoe people also known as Makholokoe

Kgosi (Paramount Chief)of Makgolokowe-A-Mafehleng

Paramount chief (Kgosi) Lehasa II Matholela Moloi is the 6th Paramount chief of Makgolokowe-A-Mafehleng clan, South Africa. Makgolokowe-A-Mafehleng are a group that split from the Makholokoe /kholokoe tribe in 1821 or 1823 at the battle of polane and nhlapo people. From henceforth they have had their own monarchs and this is recognised as such by the kholokoe royal house who have their own Monarch. Kholokoe /Makholokoe are descended from Bakgatla and are not basotho. They today inhabit regions of Limpopo and north west Gauteng province.

Kgoshi of BaKgatla

BaKgatla people in South Africa are subdivided into major groups each with their own Kgosi (King or paramount chiefs). While they are considered Kings by their people, the South African government address them as Paramount chiefs. There is also BaKgatla ba Kgafela found in Neighbouring Botswana. Below is a a link about the BaKgatla Kings. The ones based in South Africa

Kgoshi of BaTau

BaTau are divided into further groups

  • BaTau ba Phaahla – Kgoshi Letsiri Ngwato Phaahla of Batau ba Phaahla
  • BaTau ba Masemola
  • BaTau ba Mogashoa
  • BaTau ba Kgaphola
  • BaTau ba Seloane
  • BaTau ba Photo

Kgoshi Letsiri Ngwato Phaahla of Batau ba Phaahla

Kgoshi of BaTaung

Kgosi Boikgantsho Justice Sefanyetso is the current Kgoshi of BaTaung boo Selale, North west province, South Africa

Inkosi of Ngomane clan

Ngomane clan are people whose culture has largely been influenced by swati culture and reside in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. They have several chiefs under them:

  • Inkhosi of Hhoyi of Hhoyi Traditional Council – Inkosi Hhoyi Sandile Ngomane II
  • Inkosi of Lugedlane Traditional Council – Inkosi Lugedlane II Sizwe Ngomane
  • Inkosi of Siboshwa Traditional Council – Inkosi Nicholas Ngomane

Mpumalanga province Traditional leaders

According to Certificated and recognised Traditional Leaders in terms of Section 19(1) (B), Section 19(2)(B) of Mpumalanga Traditional Leadership and Governance Act 2005 (Act No.3 of 2005), Mpumalanga has two Kings and several chiefs (Source)

  • Ingwenyama (King) Makhosoke II Mabhena of Ndebele Kingdom (Manala clan)
  • Ingwenyama (King) Mabhoko II Mbusi Mahlangu of Ndzundza Mabhoko clan , Ndebele
  • Hosi of Amashangana Traditional Council (Gaza empire)
  • Inkhosi of Hhoyi of Hhoyi Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Lugedlane Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Siboshwa Traditional Council
  • Ikosi of Ndzundza Mabusa Traditional Council
  • Ikosi of Ndzundza Pungutja Traditional Council
  • Ikosi of Ndzundza-Fene Traditional Council
  • Ikosi of Ndzundza-Somphalali Traditional Council
  • Ikosi of Manala-Makerana Traditional Council
  • Ikosi of Manala Mgibe Traditional Council
  • Kgoshi of Mathibela Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Lomshiyo Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mpakeni Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Emjindini Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Msogwaba Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Kgarudi Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mlambo Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mdluli Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mbuyane Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Moreipuso Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mhlaba Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Matsamo Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mawewe Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Mogane Traditional Council
  • Hosi of Jongilanga Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Gutshwa Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Inkambeni Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Mohlala Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Sethlare Traditional Council
  • Kgoshi of Malele Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Masoyi Traditional Council
  • Hosi of Hoxane Traditional Council
  • Kgoshi of Mashilane Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Thabakgolo Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Embhuleni Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Kwandwalaza Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Madlangampisi Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Ogenyaneni Traditional Council
  • Morena of Lekgoetla Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Enikwakuyengwa Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Somcuba Bhevula Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Ndlela Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Mandlamakhulu Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Mahlaphahlapha Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Duma Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Madabukela Traditional Council
  • Inkosi of Mpisikazi Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Emfumbeni Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Enkhaba Traditional Council
  • Inkhosi of Ebutsini Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Bakgatla ba Seabe Traditional Council
  • Kgoshi of Barolong Ba Lefifi Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Ba Kgatla Ba Mmakau Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Makgatla Ba MochaBa Moepi Traditional Council
  • Kgosi of Ba Kgatla ba Mocha ba Maloka Traditional Council

Swati chiefs in South Africa

Mpumalanga province has a large population of Swazi/Swati people whose traditional chiefdoms still pay allegiance to King of Eswatini despite modern colonial drawn boundaries. Historically a large part of Mpumalanga province was under the influence of the Eswatini monarchy before colonialists came. These chiefdoms or royal kraals include:

  • Esandleni
  • Enikakuyengwa
  • Mfumbeni
  • Ebutsini
  • ENkhaba
  • Somcuba
  • Embhuleni
  • Mjindini
  • Msogwaba
  • Ka Sphezi
  • Mekemeke

Gonaqua people

Gonaqua are considered to be descendants of Khoikhoi and Xhosa people

List incomplete due to their high number, we are still adding

Interested in the Nhlapo commission report on Determination of Traditional Kingships in South Africa, click link below
Mpumalanga traditional leaders list

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