Advocate Inkosi Nonkonyana

I am Advocate Inkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana, described by most as outspoken, frank and opinionated if I may add. And that description, such a narrative of my character is not too far from the truth. I admit, for I have strong views and I do speak my mind.

Born in the Transkei, under a time of great oppression and persecution in our country. I too craved needed to make an impact on the lives of the ordinary South Africans. I took it upon me to contribute to the change that our country desperately needed, for we could not go on as business as usual, a change had to transpire. And this is a fight I have dedicated my life too.

By no means of esteeming myself above the rest but I too have fought to transform our land. To live a better legacy for our children has always been the dream, to leave them with a land, that is better then when we had acquired it. And law to me, was and is the vehicle to go about change. A method which allowed me to pursue this agenda. It was the tool which transformation could occur hence my passion for this field.

I began my interest of being a lawyer in Jongilizwe College and decided to study law in the University of Fort Hare, where I was supported by the Transkei government. During my studies, I would work in Magistrates Court, where I had the opportunity to encounter lawyers such as the late Vabaza and L.L. Mtshizana practicing law. The Professors of Law at the University of Fort Hare also enhanced my interest and I passed B. Juris, which led to my decision to continue and further my studies with the University of South Africa. Whilst working for the government, I began this career as the Court interpreter, advanced to a Public Prosecutor and Magistrate.

Having passed LL>B I was admitted as an Advocate and employed as State Advocate in Transkei therefore I decided to do pupillage, to be able to practice privately as an Advocate. I have been practicing on my own from 1994 specializing in criminal law, civil litigation and Labor. I appeared mainly in the Supreme Court and sometimes in the Labor and Constitutional court.

A great men honors those who have paved a way for him, and so before I introduce myself, let me begin here. I am inspired by remarkable leaders who came before me, who through their hard work and revelations have played an impressive and critical role to the change of South Africa. These agents of transformation who rose soared from the minority group, contributed to the law society immensely. From the likes of Tholakele Hope Madala who was born in Kokstad on 13 July 1937. In his legal practice, Justice Madala handled many human rights cases and he was interested in the protection of the rights of the underprivileged, established the Umtata Law Clinic, under the auspices of the Umtata and Districts Lawyers' Association.

From 1987 to 1990 he served as vice-chairperson of the Society of Advocates of Transkei and from 1991 to 1993 as chairperson, representing the society on the General Council of the Bar. Justice Madala took silk in 1993 and was elevated to the Bench in 1994, becoming the first black judge in the Eastern Cape and the fourth black judge in South Africa. In October of the same year he was appointed as a founding judge of the Constitutional Court.

Her excellence Justice Yvonne Mokgoro contributed in the field of law and administration of justice in a democratic South Africa. She was a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from its inception in 1994 until the end of her 15 year term in 2009. She has written and presented papers, and participated in a myriad of national and international conferences, seminars and workshops in South Africa and internationally, mainly in sociological jurisprudence and particularly on human rights, customary law, focusing on the impact of law on society generally, and on women and children specifically.

The late Ismail Mohamed was appointed as the first Black judge of South Africa. And we enjoyed these famous words from him, "More difficult to articulate but arguably even more crucial to that temper, is that quality called wisdom, enriched as it must be by a substantial measure of humility, and by an instinctive moral ability to distinguish right from wrong and sometimes the more agonizing ability to weigh two rights or two wrongs against each other, which comes from the consciousness of our own imperfection." In our culture we have a saying, "Umntu ungumntu ngabantu." And these are the hands that gave birthed, stirred a passion in this field for me.

Business Law

Criminal law

Traditional Affairs

Bhaka ka Dududu!!! Bayethe! Zanemvula!!



We have leant with profound sadness about the passing on of Prince: MG Buthelezi today, Saturday 09 September 2023.

The Eastern Cape Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) inclusive of both its Women and Youth Wings deeply mourns the passing on of His Royal Highness, the Head of Buthelezi Clan, the 1st Chairman of Kwa-Zulu Provincial House of Traditional Leaders and the Traditional Premier of the Zulu nation.

We deeply mourn his passing on and deepen our banners for his passion for protection and promotion of African Culture, Traditions, Customs; being a True Zulu from the soul of his feet to the crown of his head.

A gallant fighter for freedom and powers and functions of traditional leadership within a democratic dispensation in South Africa.

One of African statemen who played his part in pursuance of the struggle for freedom started by our forebears.

On behalf of the leadership collective in the Eastern Cape Province, I convey our sincere condolences to the Buthelezi Royal family, His Majesty

and God Almighty will be with all of us during this dark period.


Dated in Mthatha on this the 09 September 2023.

Nkosi: Mwelo Nonkonyana( Zanemvula!)
The Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary of the congress of Traditional leaders of South Africa, Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana is the chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders. (ECHTL). He won this on the contested election held at the chambers in Bhisho.

Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana is a seasoned leader who will be taking over another seasoned leader, Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima, who has been the leader of this house for the past 10 years. Nkosi Nonkonyana is the founding chairperson of the House of traditional leaders in bhisho and served one term at its inception in 1996. He is also seasoned football administrator as he is the former vice-president of SAFA - the South Africa Football Association and is also former ANC MP. He is most importantly the leader of amaBhala Traditional Council In Siphaqeni (Flagstaff) under amaMpondo Kingdom. AmaBhala seem to trace their history to a leader of amaMphondo Known as Bhala KaGangatha, who lived about 400 years ago. Bhala KaGangatha had many children from various houses.

From the Great House, he fathered chithwayo, the father of ndayeni who in turn is the father of Thahla. Thahla KaNdayeni is the father of Nyawuza, Nyawuza gave his name to the Royal clan of amaMphondo known as amaNyawuza. Nyawuza is the father of Ngqungqushe who married MaMngcambe (Nkulu) from the Mpondomise Kingdom and gave birth to the very popular leader of amaMpondo, Faku kaNgqungqushe. From one of the Bhala kaGangatha's other houses, it appears that another was born, which came to be known as amaBhala, from which Nkosi Nonkonyana comes from.

Traditional summit

Speech delivered by Nkosi: Mwelo Nonkonyana(Zanemvula!)at the Eastern Cape Traditional leaders summit held at Mpekweni holiday resort on the 28-30 November 2018

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The debate of the president speech

Speech delivered by Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana (Zanemvula!)During the debate of the president speech in Cape Town on the 21 February 2019

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In Bisho on the 17 of January 2018


Before the Colonialist came in Africa, Africans were leaving and governing themselves by sets of rules that was based on ethical norms and values. Fundamental to the rules was respect and obedience under heads of the families who had responsibility to instil discipline in the family and resolved disputes in line with family norms and values. These values were and unfortunately continue to be unwritten and vulnerable to be distorted,

All disputes were and continue to be resolved and unlike the foreign Roman –Dutch legal system which was imposed by our Colonisers, is based on the principle of reconciliation of parties whereas the foreign system which is based European norms and values that erroneously regarded our customary practices as repugnant to their idea of public policy.

In African justice if you cause damage to anybody you must fairly compensate the victim and not a governor and most importantly he/she you must as to leave peacefully together.

Our rules have developed and are accepted as the basis of a well-entrenched customary values that are basis of our customary law.

The customary law like labour law is and must continue to be enforced by the customary courts that are presided over by traditional leaders. Many people think that a traditional leader is in the same position as the Magistrate or a Judge who must interprete legislation on the basis of a law degree or certificate from a University or College the majority of whom have not studied African Law. I am certain non of lawyers have studied Bhala Law or Laws of AmaMpondo for instance and as such none qualify to appear before my Court.This erroneous notion is based on the misunderstanding of the institution of traditional leadership. In terms of the institution a traditional leader is a traditional leader in council. Infact in practice councillors are the people who actually deliberate on issues and they decide the issue and traditional leader as a unifying symbol in the community pronounce on the decision that more often than not is accepted and respected by the parties involved in the dispute. The criticism often expressed about the socalled independence of the judiciary is with respect propagated by those intoxicated by foreign system of governance.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa recognises our customary law and accord it equal status with the Roman- Dutch law that is sometimes erroneously called common law of South Africa. It is strange that amongst the Courts mentioned in the Constitution Customary Courts are not mentioned and when we complained about this serious omission, the Constitutional Court told us that our courts are recognised within the expression ”other Courts”. I believe we could not persuade the court as at the time it was composed by the Roman Dutch jurists.

I believe that South Africa is one country and it is strange that it has two legal systems and as thing stand African legal system is undermined because it has not been written and commented upon by experts in this special field of the law.

This article is an attempt to stimulate the needed debate and I will continue to write on this page to deal with interesting issues which will enlighted readers about the value of African legal system

Dated in Bisho on this the 17th Day of January 2018


Nkosi M. Nonkonyana (Zanemvula!)

"The game of football has always been a thrill to me. And through it I have seen the world"


SAFA image
Born on 11 January 1957, the same year CAF was formed. I played football from a tender age and these are the following schools I played Football for:  Xurana J.S.S. (Lusikisiki), Nonkonyana J.S.S. (Flagstaff), Mfundisweni High School (Flagstaff), Jongilizwe College of Traditional Leaders (Tsolo) and University of Fort Hare (Alice).

I was the founder and player of Bhala Royals FC (now known as Nonkonyana Aces), a star of Pondo Royals FC (Flagstaff), Mount Frere Young Tigers, Amaziyoni F.C. (Ntabankulu), Matatiele United Brothers FC, Idutywa United Brothers FC, Tsolo Fast 11 FC and Mthatha Liverpool FC. Through my extensive knowledge of football, I became an administrator of these following places where this skill put in practiced. I became the secretary of the Southern Transkei (Butterworth), chairperson of Mthatha Liverpool FC and President of SAFA Transkei from 1988, first President of SAFA OR Tambo Region and Honorary President of SAFA OR Tambo Region.

AS a member of SAFA NEC I chaired the standing committees .i.e. SAFA appeals board, SAFA Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, SAFA Provincial Affairs committee, SAFA Various AD HOC committees and Served as a member of various Standing Committees of SAFA. I later chaired and LED the entities of SAFA such as SA Football (PTY) LTD, SAFA Development Infra – Structure Trust and S.A. Afcon Local Organising Committee 2013 and CHAN 2014. Served COSAFA and became a member of its legal affairs committee.

Through serving CAF I came to be a member of the Legal Affairs committee, Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and African Nations Championship (CHAN) Tournament. I have acted as the President of SAFA on various numerous occasions. Had been given the prestige honor of being the President of Transkei sport council. Been the recipient of various Sport awards in Eastern Cape and CAF. Served as SAFA Vice –President for three consecutive terms under Dr. Molefi Oliphant, Mr. Kirsten Nematendani and Mr. Danny Jordaan.