Dalindyebo supporters ask for judicial system that recognises heritage

2016-04-01 17:03
Traditional and church leaders at Parliament to ask for a presidential pardon for King Dalindyebo (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Traditional and church leaders at Parliament to ask for a presidential pardon for King Dalindyebo (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Traditional and church leaders called for a "transformed judicial system", as part of a petition handed to Parliament asking that abaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo be released from jail.

"We want a transformed judicial system that will take into account our traditional and religious belief system. Our thoughts and actions are influenced by what we believe in," the Council of Churches South Africa International leader Archbishop Mbulelo Mvubu said on Friday.

"Our dignity and heritage need to be taken into cognisance when court judgments are made."

Mvubu had earlier told News24 that the judiciary should have protected the king at the time because he was presiding over cases under customary law, recognised by the Constitution.

"The judiciary absolutely failed to protect one of their officers."

The petition states that the king had exercised his powers to "protect his subjects from criminals in good faith".

It asks President Jacob Zuma to pardon Dalindyebo, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence at the East London Maximum Correctional Centre.

His crimes involved the treatment he meted out to some of his subjects in 1995 and 1996.

About 30 people, mostly leaders from different tribes, attended the march to Parliament, a far cry from the thousands predicted.

Speaking to News24, paramount Chief Hennie van Wyk of the Goraxouqua tribe said the majority of people in jail were Khoi and Nguni.

“We are being governed by a foreign law that never existed in ancient times when we had our own courts and social systems,” he said.

“We are being enculturated by Roman Dutch law.”

Dalindyebo handed himself over to the Mthatha Correctional Centre in December 2015 after unsuccessfully trying several legal avenues to avoid serving his time.

He was later transferred to the East London Maximum Correctional Centre.

In 2009, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson and kidnapping.

He was granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

In October 2015, the SCA set aside his culpable homicide conviction and reduced his sentence to 12 years.

 

Read more on:    buyelekhaya dalindyebo  |  traditions

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