Hands off Dalindyebo, AbaThembu chiefs tell Jacob Zuma

2014-07-30 18:10

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s chiefs have defended him after President Jacob Zuma asked him to make written representations explaining why he should keep his throne.

Speaking shortly before the meeting of several AbaThembu chiefs at Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha today, Dalindyebo’s right hand man Prince Phandulwazi Mhlontlo said they were prepared to go to court to interdict Zuma.

“Zuma has no right to remove our king. He is a king by birthright. We cannot allow our king to be removed by a president. If they remove him, who is going to be next?”

“We are going to pull out all the stops to protect our king. Taxi owners have already donated their vehicles to ferry people to the great place on Sunday to tell Zuma, ‘hands off our king’,” said Mhlontlo.

He said Dalindyebo’s removal was politically motivated, adding that Zuma and the ANC were punishing the king because he had joined the DA.

In July last year, Dalindyebo joined the opposition party and called Zuma “a tribalist who does not recognise other kings, but only respects Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini”.

Meanwhile, a relaxed and jovial King Dalindyebo today could be seen sharing jokes with some of the chiefs and guests who had come to support him at the great place.

The king, wearing a pair of jeans, a black jacket and black hat, shook hands with his supporters, telling them in isiXhosa that “cowards should go to their mothers’ homes” – a suggestion that he was no coward and was going to fight his removal.

The king declined to comment any further.

Nkosi Mfundo Mtirara said they were disowning the letter written to Zuma by several AbaThembu members called “the royal family for the kingdom of AbaThembu” which called for Dalindyebo’s dethroning.

Mtirara, a senior AbaThembu chief and cousin to the king, called this group - which includes former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla - a bunch of “ambitious juniors”.

“We are very surprised that president Zuma allowed himself to be used by these people. They are not representing us as AbaThembu and AmaDlomo. We are shocked that Zuma stooped so low. As a traditionalist he should have known better.

“We will defend our king. He is not a king of stipend. Zuma can take his stipend and certificate if he likes; we will take care f our king,” said Mtirara.

He said the group who wrote to Zuma was invited to today’s meeting but never showed up.

“We invited this concerned group to come and explain to us why they want to remove our king. I personally delivered the letter of invite to Thanduxolo Mtirara who is their chairman. Next thing they don’t arrive or give an explanation. We are going to send them another letter, this time to be delivered by a court sheriff for them to explain why they wrote to Zuma without following protocol,” said (Mfundo) Mtirara.

He said even though the people who wrote to Zuma were their brothers by tradition, if they fail to account for their actions they would be disowned.

“Traditionally there is punishment for what they did. You can’t simply write to the president saying our king must be removed and think there won’t be punishment. When will disown them, won’t attend their funerals or weddings. We will cut all ties with them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the group which initiated the move to oust Dalindyebo, will hold a press conference at the Qunu Museum tomorrow to clarify why they want Dalindyebo dethroned.

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