The Star Early Edition
Jailed ex-king eating again
FORMER ABATHEMBU King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has stopped his hunger strike in prison, but he has other methods up his sleeve to fight what he believes is a constitutional injustice against him.
So said his lawyer Zehir Omar following reports that Dalindyebo had been admitted to hospital after he went on a hunger strike.
The dagga-smoking former king, who started serving a 12-year prison sentence shortly before midnight on December 30, decided to go on a hunger strike a week ago to protest against his imprisonment.
Omar said Dalindyebo had suffered grave constitutional injustice, and was not going to stop using other methods until justice had been done. “He is justified to go on a hunger strike because he was a victim of injustice,” Omar said.
However, Omar would not be drawn into revealing what these methods were. All he was prepared to say was: “He is going to do it step by step in a responsible manner. The king is acting responsibly, he is not going to act irrationally.”
He was convicted of culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson and kidnapping.
In sentencing the case that led to Dalindyebo’s conviction in 2009, Judge Sytze Alkema called it one of the worst cases of assault, watched by the community and victims’ families.
Victims were “undressed; their hands tied between their backs; they were prostrated on the floor; they were assaulted over a period of two hours; their assailants assaulted them with sjamboks; they were made to frog-jump while the accused was whipping their feet; when the accused got tired, he instructed other people to continue with the flogging until they screamed… the assault continued until the hut smelt of blood”, said the judge.
Saziso Wafa died, Lunga Pama was left “mentally deranged” and Malandela Sontonase and Welile Dumo were badly injured.
The judge said he showed no remorse whatsoever.
The Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the culpable homicide conviction but confirmed convictions of assault, arson, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.