King snubs roy­als

CityPress - - News - LUBA­BALO NGCUKANA luba­balo.ngcukana@city­press.co.za

Jailed abaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo snubbed a del­e­ga­tion that came to tell him his 23-year-old son, Azenathi, was act­ing in his place.

He did so in protest against a de­ci­sion made at a Thembu meet­ing last week to ap­point his son in­stead of his wife Queen Nok­wanda as re­gent.

Dalindyebo’s spokesper­son, Mfundo Mti­rara, said the del­e­ga­tion, which in­cluded Thembu chief and Deputy Labour Min­is­ter Patek­ile Holomisa, tried to visit the king at Life St Do­minic’s Hospi­tal in East Lon­don on Tues­day, but he re­fused to see them.

City Press un­der­stands the king only saw Queen Nok­wanda, his sis­ter Ndileka Dalindyebo-Dlamini and brother Pa­trick on Mon­day. They told him of the planned visit by the del­e­ga­tion and of the de­ci­sion made at the meet­ing.

Mti­rara said: “The king re­fused to meet them. I do not know why. He is still in hos­pi­tal. All I know is the visit fol­lowed an­other by his sib­lings on Mon­day, where the king is­sued a state­ment say­ing the Sun­day meet­ing was il­le­gal.”

Dalindyebo was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal last week af­ter go­ing on a hunger strike in the East Lon­don Max­i­mum Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre.

Mti­rara said that, de­spite the snub, the de­ci­sion made at the meet­ing, held at the Bum­bane Great Place, would be com­mu­ni­cated to the pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties.

“On Thurs­day, a del­e­ga­tion led by abaThembu el­der Than­di­s­izwe Mti­rara, who chaired the meet­ing on Sun­day, went to Bhisho on Thurs­day to hand over min­utes of abaThembu meet­ings that en­dorsed Azenathi as act­ing king. This is meant to fa­cil­i­tate a process to recog­nise Azenathi as act­ing king,” said Mti­rara.

Azenathi is a third-year crim­i­nol­ogy stu­dent at the Univer­sity of the Free State.

Mti­rara said Dalindyebo’s con­di­tion was sta­ble, but there were no in­di­ca­tions as to when he would be dis­charged.

He also said they were wait­ing for a re­sponse from the de­part­ment of co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs in Bhisho. Depart­ment spokesper­son Mamkeli Ngam con­firmed the del­e­ga­tion dropped off doc­u­ments “in re­la­tion to the name of the per­son who is go­ing to act as king”.

“As soon as MEC [Fik­ile Xasa] has time to look at it and ap­ply his mind, he will take the nec­es­sary ac­tion, in­clud­ing con­sul­ta­tion with the pre­mier,” he said.

The king’s younger brother, Prince Si­ganeko Dalindyebo, said abaThembu had now spo­ken and pro­cesses were in place.

“There are plans. We are work­ing on uni­fy­ing abaThembu and mov­ing for­ward as a na­tion,” he said. Prince Si­ganeko said that when he vis­ited his brother in prison be­fore he was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal, Dalindyebo told him he wanted his wife to be re­gent. How­ever, the meet­ing de­cided against this be­cause Dalindyebo him­self de­cided in Oc­to­ber that Azenathi should act in his stead should he go to jail.

On Mon­day, some state of­fi­cials and Eastern Cape ANC lead­ers, in­clud­ing Holomisa, Deputy Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Stella Nd­abeni-Abra­hams, Deputy Tourism Min­is­ter Tokozile Xasa, and ANC MP Mandla Man­dela, vis­ited Dalindyebo’s vic­tims.

Nd­abeni-Abra­hams con­firmed the visit to Tyalara near Mthatha, where they met the fam­ily of Saziso Wofa, who died af­ter the king or­dered him to be brought to the Great Place to an­swer for his al­leged crimes. He was se­verely as­saulted by res­i­dents be­fore he could ap­pear be­fore the king. They also vis­ited the fam­ily of Mthandeni Makhwenkwana, whose home was burnt down af­ter he com­mit­ted mur­der in the vil­lage and served 11 years in jail.

“This visit was in­formed of the ne­ces­sity to meet all the role play­ers and in­ter­ested par­ties in the mat­ter in­volv­ing the in­car­cer­ated king – the dif­fer­ent group­ings within abaThembu and those who fell vic­tim to the saga. Un­for­tu­nately, in the midst of the pub­lic dis­course about the plight of a jailed king, no one talks about the fate of the vic­tims,” said Nd­abeni-Abra­hams. She added that they wel­comed the ap­point­ment of Azenathi and wished him well.

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