AbaThembu hold emergency meetings over ‘calm’ King Dalindyebo’s future

2014-07-27 06:00

The royal family of AbaThembu and the entire AbaThembu nation will hold emergency meetings today and Tuesday respectively to discuss a letter from President Jacob Zuma regarding the dethroning of controversial king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

This comes after three officials from the presidency met with the AbaThembu king’s representatives at Enkululekweni in Mthatha on Friday.

The officials had a letter from Zuma, which asked the king to show cause within 30 days why he should not be removed as king or why his certificate of recognition should not be withdrawn.

Dalindyebo, who was not present at the meeting, could not immediately be reached for comment.

One of his representatives and chair of the AbaThembu Royal Council, Simon Tafa, who was present, confirmed to City Press that the king had indeed been asked to show cause.

Tafa said that when he had briefed the king about the matter later in the day, the king “seemed calm and relaxed because he had been expecting this”.

“The king was not shocked or affected by this at all. He saw it coming. He is not bothered because he knows he is the rightful person for the kingdom of AbaThembu.”

“On Sunday, the AmaDlomo, who are the core of the royal family, will meet to discuss the matter and the letter from the president and its contents. Thereafter another meeting of the entire AbaThembu nation will be called on Tuesday at the king’s royal residences in Bumbane Great Place to deliberate the issue,” he said.

In 2012 several AbaThembu leaders wrote to Zuma, then cooperative governance minister Richard Baloyi, former premier Noxolo Kiviet and MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs at the time, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, asking for the king’s removal because of his alleged wayward behaviour, which they viewed as being at odds with his status.

Daludumo Mtirara, spokesperson for the royal family, said they have been vindicated.

“We are relieved that government has decided to act on our request. Traditionally we took a decision in 2012 to remove the royal spear from Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo. This means he has not been king since then. We were just waiting for formalities on the part of government,” Mtirara said. “We don’t have a king at the moment as far as we are concerned.”

He cautioned those who claimed to be close to Dalindyebo not to mislead the nation as a decision had already been taken to remove the controversial monarch.

Mtirara said Dalindyebo had embarrassed the nation by smoking dagga in public. He also claimed the king had questionable relationships with family members.

“The man also has criminal cases hanging over his head. That is why he is not fit to be king,” Mtirara said.

Dalindyebo was convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 2009 for assault, kidnapping and arson. He has appealed.

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