S. African king sen­tenced to 12 years in prison

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The king of Nel­son Man­dela’s Thembu eth­nic group was sen­tenced Thurs­day to 12 years in jail for torch­ing homes, beat­ing peo­ple and kid­nap­ping a fam­ily in an sup­posed at­tempt to dis­ci­pline them.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Ap­peal was rul­ing on an ap­peal by King Buleyekhaya Dalindyebo against his 2009 con­vic­tion and sen­tenc­ing to a 15-year jail term.

The court in Bloem­fontein up­held charges of ar­son, kid­nap­ping, as­sault and “de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice,” but it dis­missed one charge of cul­pa­ble homi­cide.

Dalindyebo’s le­gal team ar­gued, in vain, that the burn­ing of three fam­i­lies’ homes did not amount to ar­son be­cause the prop­er­ties could tech­ni­cally be re­garded as be­long­ing to the king, the eNCA news chan­nel re­ported.

The king was also ac­cused of kid­nap­ping the fam­ily of a man who had failed to at­tend the royal court, eNCA added.

The ap­peal court ruled Dalindyebo’s “be­hav­ior was all the more de­plorable be­cause the vic­tims of his reign of terror were the vul­ner­a­ble ru­ral poor, who were de­pen­dent upon him,” ac­cord­ing to the News24 web­site.

The rul­ing also ac­cused him of “dila­tory and ob­struc­tive” ac­tion for chang­ing his lawyers 11 times, caus­ing 34 post­pone­ments to the case.

Dalindyebo

is

king

of

the Thembu, a Xhosa eth­nic group that boasted Man­dela as its most prom­i­nent clan mem­ber.

The king, who has spo­ken about his reg­u­lar use of cannabis, has of­ten clashed pub­licly with Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, an eth­nic Zulu.

In 2013, he left the rul­ing ANC party to join the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Al­liance.

Monar­chs have no of­fi­cial power in mod­ern South Africa, but still com­mand loy­alty among mil­lions of peo­ple.

They are rec­og­nized in the con­sti­tu­tion as tra­di­tional lead­ers and re­ceive gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Dalindyebo, who had been al­lowed to go free pend­ing the out­come of his ap­peal, was or­dered to re­port to prison within 48 hours.

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