Dalindyebo admitted to hospital
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has been connected to drips and is “under serious medical care” after embarking on a hunger strike at the East London Maximum Correctional Centre, says Julius Malema.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader went to visit the jailed king yesterday in prison, only to be told by authorities that he was in Life St Dominic’s Hospital, where he was admitted on Friday night.
“We went to see the king. He was admitted [to hospital] because he fell ill after engaging in a hunger strike. He started his hunger strike on Sunday,” Malema said outside the hospital yesterday.
“He was waiting for this type of visit. Only now is he going to eat. We have had a discussion with him and the king has accepted that he should eat.”
EFF members in party regalia painted the gates at the East London Correctional Centre red and followed Malema to the hospital.
Malema, his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, and the party’s national chairperson, Dali Mpofu, accompanied the king’s family, his wife Nokwanda and sister Ndileka Dlamini, to visit him at 2pm.
The media was barred from entering the hospital, which had both prison warders and police on guard.
After his 40-minute visit, Malema said he had never seen a king so humiliated.
“We thought the humiliation of our traditional leadership ended with the colonial times and the apartheid regime. The king is in good spirits, but it is really painful to see the ANC government do what they are doing to this man here. I have never seen anything like this,” he said.
Malema said Dalindyebo should at least have been placed under house arrest.
“We are not saying he must not pay. All of us must be accountable. All of us must be subjected to the judiciary, but we are talking about the king here. We think that there must be some intervention made. We call upon the ANC to rethink this decision,” he said.
Malema questioned the judgment that found the king guilty because the monarch had thought he was exercising his powers by making an “institutional intervention” and acting on his subjects’ complaints.
He called Dalindyebo’s imprisonment “pathetic”, a “serious humiliation of black people” and an “attack on traditional leadership”.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said he did not have “time for what Julius Malema says”.