Rogue clan eyes KZN

2009-12-24 00:00

THE AbaThembu clan in the Eas­tern Cape province, which former president Nelson Mandela is a part of, intend to recuse themselves as part of South Africa and form their own independent state next year.

In the process, the clan wants to stake a claim on the entire KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Northern Cape and certain parts of the Free State and Gauteng provinces.

The lawyer of the convicted AbaThembu king, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, officially notified Pre­sident Jacob Zuma’s office about the withdrawal of the tribe from the South African government. In a document that is in The Witness’s possession, Dalindyebo’s lawyer, Votani Majola, states that the official withdrawal notice will be served on January 6 next year in the national Parliament.

Majola states in the document that his law firm’s clients request Zuma to accept the notice on behalf of the South African government so as to afford AbaThembu a dignified exit from Zuma’s government.

Majola also submitted a document to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) calling for the charges against Dalindyebo, which included culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and arson, to be withdrawn.

Dalindyebo was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in the Mthatha High Court in October.

Some reports in the media after his sentence stated that the monarch believed he was a victim of a political conspiracy and unfair treatment. The reports stated that the judge who sentenced him had no right to do so, as he was of inferior status to the AbaThembu leader.

Majola said that the deadline for the withdrawal of charges by the NPA against the king is on Monday. He said that an apology was also in order for the humiliation of the king through criminal charges, saying that the deadline for the apology is January 5.

“We strongly recommend that damages valued at R900 million be paid by the South African government … and an amount of R80 million be paid to AbaThembu tribe … The deadline for payment is, therefore, on or before 12/01/2010,” said Majola.

Majola said that, according to their information, AbaThembu constitutes the largest tribe in the country with estimated figures in excess of 10 million or so. “There is also information that suggests that about 60% of the land in South Africa legitimately belongs to AbaThembu. Johannesburg and Durban are among the cities that are built on our land,” said Majola.

He said that they will request Zuma make himself available to accept the notice of withdrawal. “If he does not avail himself, we will serve the notice by hanging it on the front door of the main entrance in parliament, in a manner commonly used by the sheriff of the court when no one is available to accept delivery papers.”

Majola said that AbaThembu will choose a certain day to be declared a National Day of Siege as they feel that they are under siege. On that day, he said, AbaThembu will go on a pilgrimage to the Qhudeni Mountains in KZN to call on their ancestors to intervene and give them wisdom. During the pilgrimage, said Majola, they will burn the national flag and the membership cards of the ANC, and the ashes will be thrown into the Thukela River.

“With effect from the 6/January/2010, technically the South African government will not have jurisdiction over the land that belongs to AbaThembu … It is anticipated that the South African government will finance all the transitional arrangements,” said Majola.

A source close to the Zulu monarch, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the attempts by Majola are the “last kicks of a dying horse”.

Zulu Royal Household spokesman, Prince Mbonisi Zulu, opted not to comment about Majola’s submission, saying that he needs to read the submissions first.

Spokesman for KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize, Ndabe Sibiya, said that Mkhize could also not comment about the matter as he had not been briefed about it.

Dalindyebo’s spokesperson, Nkosi Zilimbola Mpahlana, said media reports declined to comment on Tuesday, saying that Majola was acting on Dalindyebo’s instruction and that he had not been briefed about the plan of action.

Media reports also stated that another royal spokesperson, Phumla Matshaya, asked the media to leave the king alone as he “has been humiliated enough”.

Presidency spokesman Vincent Magwenya dismissed the notice as “a joke”, and said he would respond once Zuma has seen the papers.

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