King’s vic­tims and fam­ily want him jailed

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcukana@city­

One of the peo­ple who fell vic­tim to a reign of terror over­seen by abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo says he and the king’s other vic­tims have been made to wait too long to see the con­tro­ver­sial monarch sent to prison for his crimes.

Mbuzeni Makhwenkwana (53) has been in­volved in some­thing of a David-and-Go­liath bat­tle with the king since 1996. Makhwenkwana, whose house was torched, is one of seven of Dalindyebo’s vic­tims who have writ­ten to var­i­ous gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions, as well as to Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, de­mand­ing to know why the king con­tin­ues to be a free man de­spite be­ing con­victed of se­ri­ous crimes by the Eastern Cape High Court in 2009.

In an in­ter­view with City Press, Makhwenkwana said author­i­ties had not pro­vided clar­ity on why Dalindyebo’s ap­peal process had taken so many years, while those in­volv­ing or­di­nary peo­ple were of­ten dealt with speed­ily.

“We de­mand that Dalindyebo go to jail to serve his 15year sen­tence and for gov­ern­ment to re­im­burse us as his vic­tims for our losses. Dalindyebo is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of gov­ern­ment and is paid by gov­ern­ment, so they must re­im­burse us for our losses while he goes to jail,” said Makhwenkwana.

Dalindyebo was found guilty of cul­pa­ble homi­cide for the death of Saziso Wofa, and was also con­victed of ar­son, de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice, as­sault with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm and kid­nap­ping.

He was sen­tenced to 15 years by high court Judge Sytze Alkema. He has ap­pealed that sen­tence, but there has not been clar­ity as to when the ap­peal might be heard.

Makhwenkwana said he had been in­formed that the king was due to ap­pear be­fore the Supreme Court of Ap­peal in Bloem­fontein on Au­gust 21, but he doubted that any­thing would hap­pen.

The fa­ther of four said it broke his heart to see so many years wasted in a bid for jus­tice.

He said his is­sue with Dalindyebo started in 1995 when the king be­gan to tor­ment his com­mu­nity of Tyalara, set­ting alight Makhwenkwana’s home and those of two other men in the vil­lage.

The king was also found guilty of hav­ing kid­napped some of the vil­lagers, in­clud­ing a woman and her six chil­dren, and of hav­ing in­structed and par­tic­i­pated in the as­sault of four men, which re­sulted in the death of Wofa.

[Makhwenkwana’s] re­cent let­ter is dated June 22 and ad­dressed to Pres­i­dent Zuma; Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng; Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Ma­sutha; Public Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela; Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han and his Eastern Cape coun­ter­part, MEC Fikile Xasa; as well as Premier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle. In the let­ter, Makhwenkwana calls for equal jus­tice.

“We de­mand that gov­ern­ment author­i­ties dis­charge their du­ties with­out fear or favour … we there­fore de­mand the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the ap­peal process; we de­mand that the king should be sus­pended or re­moved in or­der to re­lieve us from all his forms of bru­tal­ity,” reads the let­ter.

Seen by City Press, the let­ter signs off with the words: “From the vic­tims of the king, who lost their fam­i­lies and prop­erty and were trau­ma­tised due to his acts of terror.”

The king’s spokesper­son, Mfundo Mti­rara, could not be reached for com­ment.

Daludumo Mti­rara, the spokesper­son for the royal fam­ily of the king­dom of abaThembu, con­firmed re­ceipt of the let­ter, and also ex­pressed sup­port for it.

Mti­rara said: “This move shows that we were cor­rect when we took the de­ci­sion to re­move Dalindyebo in 2012.

“We feel vin­di­cated and we hope that the law will take its course be­cause this mat­ter has been drag­ging for far too long, with the vic­tims still wait­ing for jus­tice to this day.

The Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity’s re­gional spokesper­son, Lux­olo Tyali, said the state was ready to ar­gue its case when the mat­ter went on ap­peal.

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo

Danny Jor­daan

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