AbaThembu royals wait for Zuma

2013-07-15 23:04
Houses in Qunu where former president Nelson Mandela grew up. (File, AFP)

Houses in Qunu where former president Nelson Mandela grew up. (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The AbaThembu royal family was still waiting to hear if government would withdraw a certificate of recognition for its King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, it said on Monday.

"We made a resolution in September [2012] to remove him, and we have written to the president, the Eastern Cape premier and the [traditional affairs] MEC with the resolution," spokesperson Nkosi Daludumo Mtirara said.

Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa president Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa said the final decision on his removal lied with the government.

It would decide on the family's resolution as it was its responsibility to issue a king with a certificate of recognition.

"The government has to be satisfied that all the correct processes have been gone through and it is all done according to the custom," said Holomisa.

President Jacob Zuma was required by Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act to withdraw the certificate of recognition, publish a notice in the government gazette and inform the royal family and the king or queen concerned.

The presidency on Monday referred all questions on the resolution to the national department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, who were not immediately reachable for comment on Monday evening.

However, Eastern Cape traditional affairs spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said government was still deliberating the resolutions.

"According to processes, the [traditional affairs] minister will discuss the matter with the president."

Mtirara said the family had met several times with former Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi to discuss the decision to remove Dalindyebo.

Unsure about Tsenoli

Last Wednesday, Zuma axed Baloyi, along with Communications Minister Dina Pule and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Baloyi was replaced by Lechesa Tsenoli.

Mtirara said the family was unsure how Tsenoli would deal with the matter.

He said the decision to remove Dalindyebo did not only rely on criminal charges laid against him. Dalindyebo is still appealing a 15-year jail term on various charges, including attempted murder.

"It is not only the charges. There are a lot of impure things he has done and we have not taken him to court," Mtirara said.

He said the royal family approached Dalindyebo last year to afford him a chance to counteract the claims against him. Dalindyebo then "failed" to respond and the family sent word of its resolution to government.

On Monday the Democratic Alliance announced that Dalindyebo had joined their party.

Last month, Dalindyebo made headlines when he reportedly described the African National Congress and President Jacob Zuma as "corrupt hooligans". He made the remarks in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, at a prayer service for ailing former president Nelson Mandela.

Dalindyebo reportedly said the ANC had distorted the anti-apartheid icon's legacy and behaved arrogantly. He said he would stop smoking dagga the day Zuma stopped being corrupt.

Dalindyebo previously said he would join the DA as a birthday gift to Mandela.

Mandela, who remains in a critical but stable condition in a Pretoria hospital, turns 95 on Thursday.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  buyelekhaya dalindyebo  |  east london  |  culture  |  politics

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