King snubs royals
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.