SA’s Thembu King jailed for 12 years
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