The amaNdebele originate from the Bantu speaking group known as the Nguni. The name Ndebele comes from the first notable ruler of amaNdebele, King Ndebele, the son of Nguni. Nguni had four sons that form the current Nguni nation under the various tribes. These sons are:
The sons split up and went in different directions across Southern Africa to settle. Oral history states that amaNdebele were under the leadership of uMhlanga the son of uNdebele when they split apart from the other brothers and migrated in land to Emhlangeni also known as Randfotein in Johannesburg.
Upon the passing of uMhlanga, King Musi assumed the position of King and soon migrated his people to KwaMnyamana (the land of dark clay and fertile soil) also known as Pretoria/Tshwane in the mid 1500s to early 1600s.
King Musi fathered seven sons that form part of the Ndebele people as a whole. The sons were:
These sons had disagreements over succession and decided to all go in different directions and to settle in different parts of the country. Upon the death of King Musi, Manala (the first born son from the senior house) came back to KwaMnyamana to bury his father and take his rightful place as the King of the people.
Manala continued to live in KwaMnyamana spreading his Kingdom to the east of current Pretoria/Tshwane into Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the North West province. King Musis' resting place is in Swartkoppies/ Doornpoort Gauteng.
The Commission of Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims, also known as the Nlapho Commission, is an attempt to resolve the position of customary authorities. The commission was established in terms of section 22 of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 (Act 41 of 2003).
The Commission was composed of 9 members who were entrusted with the task of investigating and resolving all claims and disputes within 5 years. The Commission were tasked with investigating all the positions of paramountcy's and paramount chiefs that had been established and recognized and which were still in existence and who were recognized before the commencement of Act 41 of 2003.
The Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 only recognized three positions of traditional leadership, namely:
The Commission found the following regarding the Kingship of the Ndebele people:
1. Ngonyama Goodwill Zwelithini Zulu
2. Kumkani Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo
3. Kumkani Mpendulo Sigcawu
4. Kumkani Zanozuko Sigcawu
5. Kgosikgolo Victor Thulare Sikhukhune
The Commission will still decide on the rightful incumbent for the following Kingships which the President recognises:
6. AmaNdebele wakwa Manala and AmaNdebele as a whole from the lineage of the current King Makhosoke Enoch Mabhena (Makhosoke II) of Mpumalanga
7. VhaVenda from the lineage of Mphephu Ramabulane of Limpopo Province
1. Kumkani BM Sandile of AmaRharhabe
2. Kumkani Ndamase Ka Ndamase of Amampondo Ase Nyandeni
3. Morena O Moholo LC Mota of Batlokwa ba Mota
4. Morena O Moholo T Mopeli of Bakwena ba Mopeli
5. Ingwenyama M Mahlangu (Amandebele wakwa Ndzundza)
On the 5th November 2010, after the findings of the Nhlapo Commission were made public, the former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, caused confusion and controversy when he overturned the Nhlapo Commission findings and declared Mbusi Mahlangu as the King of the Ndzundza-Mabhoko (Amandebele wakwa Ndzundza).
Upon the declaration of M Mahlangu being declared the King of the Ndzundza-Mabhoko by former President Jacob Zuma, His Majesty Makhosoke Mabhena II took the matter to the High Court to be decided and rectified.
In Mabhena v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others (87483/2014)  ZAGPPHC 696 (29 July 2016), Judge AC Basson had to decide on whether the President of the Republic of South Africa had the necessary power to declare M Mahlangu as a deemed King of the deemed Kingship of the Ndzundza- Mabhoko on the 5th of November 2010.
As confirmed in Sigcau v President of the Republic of South Africa and others (2013), the Constitutional Court set out the legal position in respect to what the powers of the President are in terms of the old Act vis a vis the new Act.
This was also affirmed by the Constitutional Court in Nxumalo v President of the Republic of South Africa others (2014).
The High Court determined that the actions of the President were in fact outside the scope of his powers and therefore, the notice dated 5 November 2010 published in the Government Gazette (Notice 1027 of GG 33732) as it refers to M Mahlangu as the deemed king of the of the Kingship of Ndzundza-Mabhoko was set aside.
This judgement further affirmed that the Kingship of Ndzundza-Mabhoko was a junior house and that there is only one King of the Ndebele people being King Makhosoke II Mabhena wakwa Manala and AmaNdebele people as a whole.
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Engwenyameni, King Makhosonke II Head Quarters, Klipfontein A, Kwa-Mhlanga, Mpumalanga
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