Chief George Mzimvubu Mathanzima, former Prime Minister of Transkei, dies


George MatanzimaGeorge Matanzima

Friday, 10 November 2000

The former Prime Minister of Transkei Chief George Mzivubu Mathanzima dies at Frontier Hospital in Queenstown.  George Matanzima was born on 26 December 1918 in Qamata in the Transkei. Together with his brother Kaizer Matanzima, they founded the Transkeian National Independence Party (TNIP) which pressed for 'independence' from South Africa. When Transkei became 'independent' in 1976, Kaiser Matanzima took office as Prime Minister. George Matanzima was appointed initially as the Minister of Education, but he was elevated to the Minister of Justice. In 1979 George was appointed as the Prime Minister after his bother Kaizer Matanzima became the president of Transkei.

In 1986 allegations of corruption simmered under the government of President Kaizer Matanzima including the embezzlement of funds intended for a housing project. With mounting pressure from South Africa, Commissions of Enquiry were tasked with investigating the authenticity of the allegations. The findings implicated several senior politicians including George Matanzima. In the wake of the scandal, on 23 September 1987 Transkei Defence Forces (TDF) soldiers served resignation letters to the Transkei cabinet including George Matanzima. Six senior cabinet ministers resigned and George Matanzima officially resigned on 2 October. George fled to South Africa and then Austria, but after the South African government gave him assurance that he would not be arrested, he returned to the country. After briefly avoiding prosecution, George Matanzima handed himself over to authorities. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in this scandal. After serving three years of his sentence he was pardoned and released. George Matanzima died on 10 November 2000 in Queenstown.

  1. Mkhululi Titi, (2000), 'Traditional funeral for Matanzima' from the Dispatch, 27 November [online], Available at  [Accessed 28 October 2010]
  2. Anon, (2000), 'Holomisa pays tribute to George Matanzima' from the Dispatch, 13 November [online], Available at  [Accessed 28 October 2010]
  3. Bantu Holomisa & Roelf Meyer, (1999),  A better future
  4. John D. Battersby, (1987), 'Six Cabinet Ministers Resign in Transkei Scandal' from the New York Times, 25 September [online], Available at [Accessed 28 October 2010]
  5. Paul Vallely , (2007), 'The great casino cash-in: the Sun King (and his shady past)' from the UK Independent , 1 February [online], Available at [Accessed 28 October 2010]
  6. Jakkie Cilliers, An Overview of the Armed Forces of the TBVC Countries from the Institute for Security Studies [online], Available at [Accessed 28 October 2010]
  7. Bantu Holomisa, (2006), 'A Transkei princess' from the Mail and Guardian, 12 May [online], Available at [Accessed 28 October 2010]
  8. Chris Makhaye, (2007), 'Pondo link makes Wild Coast land ours' from the Independent Online, 7 January [online], Available at [Accessed 28 October 2010]

Last updated : 10-Nov-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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