Judiciary should have protected King Dalindyebo - council

2016-04-01 12:38
Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (Picture: AP)

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (Picture: AP)

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Cape Town – AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo should never have been jailed as he was exercising his powers to protect his subjects from criminals in good faith, the Council of Churches South Africa International said on Friday.

"Like all other presiding officers, the judiciary should have protected him because at the time he was presiding over cases under customary law, which is recognised by the Constitution of South Africa," council leader Mbulelo Mvubu told News24.

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

Mvubu was speaking outside Parliament ahead of their march calling for a presidential pardon and the king’s release from jail.

A petition would be handed over to the office of National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Different community and faith-based organisations, as well as members of the Khoi-San community, were expected to take part.

The council anticipated a few thousand people would attend.

Dalindyebo is currently 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.

According to Mvubu, the law that the king was convicted on was only promulgated in 2005.

"The king, upon his release, must immediately ascend his throne again and become king of the AbaThembu. Because the AbaThembu, together with the council, do not believe he had committed any crime, not at all, we don’t believe it all," said Mvubu.

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

He was then 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.

On December 2, the Constitutional Court dismissed Dalindyebo’s appeal against his sentence.

Read more on:    buyelekhaya dalindyebo  |  cape town

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