King snubs ANC centenary celebrations
Mthatha - Controversial Eastern Cape AbaThembu king, Buyelekhaya Dalidyebo, has vowed that he will not honour the ANC invitation to its centenary celebration in Mangagung this coming weekend.
His spokesperson Phumla Matshaya said the king was not happy about the ANC's co-ordination of the celebration and particularly with the "distortion of history" concerning the origins of the ANC.
"On our discussions on this matter, the king indicated he was concerned about the unprincipled tricks employed by ANC cadres who distorted the formation of the ANC.
"For instance the ANC was formed by his late father King Sabata Dalindyebo and many others close to him. But they have received no mention in the ANC records for this celebration. The king is offended by that," said Matshaya.
Matshaya said the history of ANC could not be divorced from the history of the Tembuland nation.
"But the ANC has done so, and has failed on numerous occasions to acknowledge this nation's contribution."
Meanwhile a close adviser to King Dalindyebo, Chief Nkosiphendulo Qashani, said he was surprised that the ANC was celebrating a centenary this year.
"How do they celebrate a centenary for an organisation formed in 1906? Well, they are able to do so because they have the power to document distorted history," said Qashani.
Qashani said the Abathembu nation would remain unrepresented in the celebrations.
ANC unaware of concerns
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the ANC was not aware of the concerns that the king was raising at this point, and denied that there was any distortion of history over the origins of the ANC.
"We know that their great King Sabata was there in the founding of the organisation, but when you document you cannot mention everybody who was there, or you would never finish," said Mthembu.
Mthembu promised to raise the issue with the high level leadership of the ANC.
"Last time we heard, the Abathembu were coming and were bringing a present as they did long ago. So we are shocked to hear that he is not coming anymore," said Mthembu.
Dalindyebo also failed to attend a celebration in honour of his late father King Sabata Dalindyebo, which was organised by the South African Heritage Council.
He had indicated that the event was just to harass and annoy his ancestors since the royal protocol procedures were not followed.
He was reported to have locked himself in his royal palace and refused all attempts and pleadings to attend the event.