SA’s Thembu King jailed for 12 years

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

A South African king has been sen­tenced to 12 years in prison for a se­ries of charges in­clud­ing kid­nap­ping, as­sault and ar­son.

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, from Nel­son Man­dela’s Thembu eth­nic group, was jailed by the Supreme Court of Ap­peals.

He had ap­proached the SCA to over­turn a 2009 court rul­ing on the mat­ter, which had sen­tenced him to 15 years.

The charges re­late to a dis­pute he had with some of his sub­jects more than two decades ago.

He was ac­cused of kid­nap­ping a woman and her six chil­dren, set­ting their home on fire and beat­ing up four youths, one of whom died, be­cause one of their rel­a­tives had failed to present him­self be­fore the kings’s tra­di­tional court.

The king has never de­nied the charges but be­lieved his ac­tions were in line with dis­ci­plin­ing his sub­jects, re­ports say.

In Bloem­fontein in the Free State Province, a panel of judges looked at his case in Au­gust and the ev­i­dence pre­sented be­fore sen­tenc­ing.

The Eastern Cape High Court had sen­tenced him to 15 years for the charges, along with one of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, which has since been dropped.

The SCA was unim­pressed with the time it took for this mat­ter to be re­solved and blamed Dalindyebo for the de­lays.

It re­vealed that he has changed lawyers 11 times, lead­ing to more than 30 post­pone­ments, in a bid to avoid prison.

Two-year-old Ravi was brought to the court by his fa­ther

The case of Dalindyebo has di­vided the abaThembu fam­ily

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