|Chief Minister of Transkei|
6 December 1963 – 26 October 1976
|Preceded by||(position established)|
|Succeeded by||(position abolished)|
|1st Prime Minister of Transkei|
26 October 1976 – 20 February 1979
|Preceded by||(position established)|
|Succeeded by||George Matanzima|
|2nd President of Transkei|
19 February 1979 – 20 February 1986
|Preceded by||Zwelibanzi Maneli Mabandla|
|Succeeded by||Tutor Nyangelizwe Vulindlela Ndamase|
Kaiser Daliwonga Mathanzima
15 June 1915
Qamata, Cape, South Africa
|Died||15 June 2003 (aged 88)|
Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
|Political party||Transkei National Independence Party|
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Chief Kaiser Daliwonga Mathanzima, misspelled Matanzima (15 June 1915 – 15 June 2003), was the long-term leader of Transkei. In 1950, when South Africa was offered to establish the Bantu Authorities Act, Matanzima convinced the Bunga to accept the Act. The Bunga were the council of Transkei chiefs, who at first rejected the Act until 1955 when Matanzima persuaded them.
Early life and education
Born in Qamata, Eastern Cape, a brother of George Matanzima and a nephew of Nelson Mandela, Mathanzima spent part of his childhood at the homestead of Chief Falo Mgudlwa, a repository of Thembu history and lore. He received the name Daliwonga (meaning "Maker of Majesty") upon reaching manhood as an "isikhahlelo" (praise name). Mathanzima studied law at Fort Hare University and completed his articles in the Transkei capital, Mthatha, in 1948. However, he never practiced law, instead he involved himself in Thembu and Transkei politics.
Made paramount chief of the "Emigrant Thembus", a breakaway and sub-group to the Thembus, Mathanzima's support of the South African government's Bantu Authorities Act (1951), which looked to foster traditional African leadership structures, gave the Act credibility in the eyes of many chiefs, but saw him part ways with Mandela politically (although the two initially remained friends, with Mathanzima acting as best man at Mandela's wedding).
Relationship with South African government
In his 1975 book Independence My Way, Mathanzima argued that emancipation would come through a federation of semi-autonomous black states, such as Transkei, rather than through the militant nationalism espoused by the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela condemned Mathanzima as a de facto supporter of apartheid.
Mathanzima became a member of the United Transkeian Territorial Council in 1955 and an Executive Council member of the newly created Transkeian Territorial Authority (TTA) in 1956. In 1961 he graduated to Chairman of the TTA, survived an assassination attempt in December 1962 by members of the Pan Africanist Congress, and in 1963 was an obvious candidate for Chief Minister of the newly formed Transkeian Legislative Assembly. Mathanzima was not a popular vote for everyone because of his strong support of apartheid. Mathanzima founded the Transkei National Independence Party, led it to election victories in 1968 and 1973, and was sworn in as Prime Minister in 1976 when Transkei became the first bantustan to gain nominal independence. According to an article published in Time Magazine at the time, though Transkei declared independence theoretically as a "free state", Mathanzima ruled the territory as a de facto puppet-state dictator, banning local opposition parties and buying at subsidized prices Transkei farmlands offered by the South African government.
Mathanzima clashed with the South African government over various issues, mostly connected with territorial demands made by Mathanzima. This led to his announcement on 2 February 1978 that Transkei would break all diplomatic ties with South Africa, including the non-aggression pact between them. He ordered that all South African Defence Force members seconded to the Transkei Army leave Transkei by 31 March. But he soon backed down in the face of Transkei's dependence on South African economic aid.
In 1979, after the death of Botha Sigcau, Mathanzima became State President, with his brother George as Prime Minister. Their approach included jailing protesters and banning such opposition parties as, in 1980, the Democratic Progressive Party. That party's leader, Thembu King Sabata Dalindyebo, was convicted of "violating the dignity" of President Mathanzima, but escaped to Zambia and joined the ANC.
Mandela's father-in-law was a member of the Transkei cabinet, and Mathanzima attempted to persuade Mandela to accept exile in Transkei in lieu of imprisonment. Mandela not only refused, but declined to see Mathanzima during his imprisonment on Robben Island, fearing that such a meeting would legitimize the bantustans to the international community.
However, in common with other bantustan leaders[which?], Mathanzima did not shy away from criticism of South Africa's racial policies and called for the repeal of Apartheid legislation (which were repealed in bantustans that were nominally independent), and occasionally pressed for a federal system for South Africa.
On 20 February 1986, faced with South African evidence of corruption, Mathanzima was forced to retire as President. Kaiser Mathanzima was replaced as President by his brother, George Mathanzima, who resigned later on because he too had been accused of being corrupt. Kaiser Mathanzima was still described as Transkei's effective leader for a time, but the two soon fell out and Kaiser was temporarily detained in the Transkei goals in 1987; upon release, he was restricted to Qamata.
Mathanzima died in Queenstown on his 88th birthday. He received an official funeral, but not a state one as former allies and supporters had hoped. The continued mixed feelings toward him in South Africa were reflected in then President Thabo Mbeki's eulogy for him. Although Mathanzima was said to have been a harsh ruler, Mbeki looked at the positive legacies that Mathanzima left behind. Mbeki praised Mathanzima's dream of eliminating poverty in South Africa as well as seeing all South Africans citizens educated. President Mbeki also went on to state that he will try to make Mathanzima's dreams a reality. Others[who?] who spoke at Mathazima's funeral said they admired how he fought to see the recognition of traditional leaders in South Africa. Former South African President and Kaiser Mathanzima's Uncle, Nelson Mandela, was not in attendance for Mathanzima's funeral because he was in Dublin, Ireland for the opening ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics.
- "Mbeki hails 'ruthless' Matanzima at funeral".
- "Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima | South African History Online".
- "Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima, former leader of the Transkei". geni_family_tree. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- J. Clare: Chief Kaizer Matanzima. The New African. 18 January 1964. p.14.
- "Apartheid Backer Heads Transkei", "The New York Times"
- The Transkei Puppet Show, TIME Magazine, 25 October 1976
- "Survey of race relations in South Africa: 1983" (PDF). South African Institute of Race Relations.
- "Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima". South African History. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "Leader of Tribe Seizes S. African Rebel's Body". Chicago Tribune. 21 April 1986. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Mati, Lucas (23 June 2003). "Mbeki hails 'ruthless' Matanzima at funeral". Retrieved 12 May 2019.