Ululations, salutations echo out for AbaThembu acting king

2016-10-23 06:00
Hail the king Acting AbaThembu King Mthandeni Dalindyebo is greeted by his supporters outside the Bumbene Great Place. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana

Hail the king Acting AbaThembu King Mthandeni Dalindyebo is greeted by his supporters outside the Bumbene Great Place. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana

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Ululations and salutations echoed from the mountain top of Molweni and kumaNtentente hailing the man appointed to act as king of the AbaThembu while the incumbent Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo serves his 12-year prison sentence.

But this only happened after a heated meeting of AbaThembu royals almost came to blows when the family elders debated the intricacies of who truly qualified to act as the king.

They finally brought the matter to rest by choosing the king’s younger brother, Mthandeni.

Mthandeni and the jailed king are both children of the late struggle icon King Sabata and Queen NoMoscow.

There are other siblings from late King Sabata’s other wives.

The meeting was held outside Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha under a scorching sun because its gates were locked and the palace abandoned as per the instruction of king after his incarceration.

He has served about 10 months of his 12-year sentence at the East London Correctional Centre for arson, assault, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

The other faction in the royal family wanted the king’s eldest son, Azenathi, who is still at university, to be acting king – after all he had been appointed by the king just before handing himself to prison authorities in Mthatha’s Willington Prison on December 30.

But the king later chose his wife, Queen Nokwanda, to act in his place, which was vehemently opposed by others in the royal house. Nokwanda was not at the meeting on Friday.

The insults and counterinsults prompted police, who had kept a distance, to come closer to monitor the situation – just in case.

The king’s older sister, Komkom Dalindyebo, was reduced to tears decrying the disunity in her family, saying both the contenders Mthandeni and Azenathi were all descendents of King Sabata and should not be fighting over the kingdom.

Speaking publicly for the first time on the succession issue, Mthandeni, who was driven in an Audi Q7, accompanied by Buyelekhaya’s former confidant and head of protocol, Jongisizwe Ndzambule, said he believed he was the right person to look after his brother’s affairs while he was in jail and called for unity in the family and nation.

“The head of this home [Bumbane Great Place] is not around for reasons known to all of us. I am his younger brother from the same mother in the great house.

“Traditionally, I am the one who is responsible to look after this home when my older brother can’t,” Mthandeni emphasised.

“This gate must be opened. Most of us in this family who come from this great place, we have been sidelined.

“We get sick because we cannot perform our rituals. This house belongs to Jonguhlanga [late Sabata]. I am pleading with you with a humble request that we must stop disrespecting each other. I am the one who is going to lead AmaDlomo [royal family].

"That is what tradition dictates us to do and no one can be against tradition if they are sober minded.”

Mthandeni extended an olive branch to his brother’s wives, calling on them and their children to come home so they can rebuild it to its former glory.

“We are a laughing stock. We are no different from the TV dramas. What used to be the most important kingdom in the whole of South Africa is comedy today because of us. We are the cause of this embarrassment,” Mthandeni said.

Read more on:    buyelekhaya dalindyebo  |  abathembu

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