New king is waiting

2014-07-28 00:00

THE successor to AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is standing in the wings, should the monarch be dethroned by President Jacob Zuma.

This was revealed yesterday by the spokesperson for the royal family of the Kingdom of Abathembu, Daludumo Mtirara. “We have followed a process of identifying the particular royal house and the wife that should give the new king,” Mtirara said.

However, Mtirara would not say who the likely successor would be pending the finalisation of Dalindyebo’s dethronement. He insisted that the procedure to appoint a new king was being done according to custom and when the matter was finalised, an announcement would be made.

Mtirara was commenting in the wake of reports that Zuma had given Dalindyebo 30 days to provide reasons why he should not be dethroned.

The royal family of the Kingdom of AbaThembu complained two years ago to the presidency about the monarch’s conduct, and his 2009 conviction on charges of culpable homicide, kidnapping, arson and causing grievous bodily harm, and his sentencing to 15 years in prison.

The latest development comes a year after the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) investigated Dalindyebo’s conduct after the initial complaint was lodged in 2012.

It was reported last year that officials from Cogta were sent packing by Dalindyebo when they sought to have the complaint discussed by the monarch and the complainants. Dalindyebo said he could not discuss the matter because he was appealing his 2009 conviction for crimes dating back to 1995.

He also lashed out at government for being quick to act on his detractors’ complaints, while it never responded to his demand that compensation of R80 million be paid to the AbaThembu nation and R900 billion to the royal family for the humiliation he suffered during his criminal trial. At the time, Dalindyebo threatened to secede from South Africa and form Thembuland.

The Cogta probe severed relations between Dalindyebo and the ANC. He subsequently resigned from the ruling party to join the DA, while at the same time making derogatory remarks about the president and the ANC.

Yesterday, Mtirara said the royal family had advised Dalindyebo on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2012 to conduct himself with more dignity but to no avail. He defended their action of taking their complaint to government without first involving the AbaThembu nation through its chiefs, saying it was a family matter.

The Reverend Simon Tafa, chairperson of Dalindyebo’s royal council, said the council decided yesterday to oppose the dethronement.

Tafa said a letter would be sent to Zuma furnishing reasons for this stance later this week and another meeting with all AbaThembu was planned for this coming Sunday. Tafa said that the complaints were coming from outside the royal family from people who wanted to take over rule of the AbaThembu.

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