Zulu king backs jailed Dalindyebo

2016-10-09 06:29
Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (Picture: AP)

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (Picture: AP)

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Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has apparently lent credence to a desperate, last-ditch campaign by Eastern Cape royals to convince President Jacob Zuma to give abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo a presidential pardon.

Dalindyebo is serving a 12-year prison sentence at the East London Correctional Centre.

But the ANC, the monarchs claim, would not commit to a specific date for a meeting at which to thrash out details of the possibility that the king will be offered such a legal recourse.

As a result of the delay, the Thembus apparently contacted the Zulu kingdom for assistance, after which the ANC responded positively to Prince Mlamli Ndamase.

Ndamase then facilitated the meeting between the Eastern Cape monarchs and the ANC’s top six officials at the party headquarters in Johannesburg and scheduled it for Monday last week.

The monarchs from the Xhosa, Rharhabe, the Thembu of Dalindyebo, Western Thembuland, and Eastern and Western Pondoland met with Zuma and senior ANC officials to plead that Dalindyebo be pardoned, among other requests.

“The president welcomed us warmly during our visit to Luthuli House,” Ndamase said.

“He created a very conducive environment for us to express ourselves freely and present our request. The president also expressed his own feelings on the matter.”

Ndamase of Western Pondoland, who is also an advocate, made the presentations on behalf of the monarchs.

“We agreed to leave the matter in his hands because it is his prerogative to give presidential pardons,” he said.

“So we left him to consider the matter and to apply his mind.”

Ndamase said a visit to King Dalindyebo in prison, along with the six monarchs who had met with the ANC officials, was scheduled for tomorrow to report back on their meeting with the ANC.

He confirmed to City Press that Dalindyebo’s family had also asked Zwelithini to be a part of efforts to release Dalindyebo.

He said the Zulu king was keen to meet the Eastern Cape royals before they went to the ANC, but this did not happen because they had already made arrangements to visit Luthuli House.

“I then informed the office of the king [Zwelithini] through his PA because he had an interest in supporting the efforts of Eastern Cape kings going to visit the ANC on October 3,” Ndamase said.

“But king [Zwelithini] had other commitments on the weekend and on the Monday on which we were due to visit the [ANC].

“He indicated that he also supported the view that we plead with the president on behalf of King Dalindyebo.”

Asked if Dalindyebo was aware of the latest efforts led by the kings and queens of the province, he said: “King Dalindyebo is aware of these efforts. So much that he had already sent a delegation to ask King Zwelithini to assist on this matter.”

Ndamase said Dalindyebo had earlier asked that the delegation wait to enable the Eastern Cape kings to handle the matter on their own. He was initially reluctant to ask for assistance from other monarchs outside of the province.

But the ANC’s delay to commit to a meeting date, he said, had prompted the abaThembu royals to approach the Zulu king, who then supported their campaign.

He said one of the reasons for them to want Dalindyebo to be pardoned was their belief that the whole “institution of traditional leadership was in ruins” if one king could be arrested.

But Zwelithini’s spokesperson, Judge Jerome Ngwenya, said: “Matters like this one would not have ordinarily come to me.

“So I don’t have much information on that because the correct person for that would have been one of the princes. They might have information on that.”

Prince Thulani Zulu, the king’s brother, could not be reached for comment.

Ndamase said that the incarceration of Dalindyebo would set a bad precedent.

In 2009, the Eastern Cape High Court sentenced him to an effective 15 years in jail for seven counts of kidnapping, three of assault, three of arson, and one each of defeating the ends of justice and culpable homicide.

After he was sentenced, Dalindyebo appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals to have his sentence thrown out. The court set aside the culpable homicide conviction.

Dalindyebo has already served nine months of his sentence.

He handed himself over to prison authorities at the Wellington Prison in Mthatha after his appeal and his petition to Justice Minister Michael Masutha for retrial failed.

Prince Siganeko Dalindyebo, one of the king’s brothers, said that although he was not personally involved in the attempts to bring Zwelithini on board, it would be ideal if the Zulu king supported the efforts to have the jailed king released.


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