No petition for clemency on Dalindyebo - justice ministry

2015-12-22 20:12
King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo

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Johannesburg – The justice department has not yet received a petition for clemency nor a request for a presidential pardon in terms of AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo's prison sentence, a spokesperson said.

Dalindyebo was expected to hand himself over on Wednesday to the Mthatha Correctional Centre to start serving his 12-year prison sentence.

He was convicted of culpable homicide, kidnapping, arson, assault and defeating the ends of justice in 2009. In October 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside Dalindyebo's culpable homicide conviction but confirmed the rest of his guilty verdicts. His initial 15-year sentence was changed to 12.

Justice department spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga, said King Dalindyebo would have to spend his first day behind bars even if Justice Minister Michael Masuta were to receive a petition or an application for a pardon. 

This comes after provincial chairperson of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) in the Eastern Cape, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, said earlier that they would petition President Jacob Zuma on securing clemency for the controversial monarch during his incarceration. 

No powers to reverse bail conditions

There have also been several other reports that Dalindyebo would apply for a presidential pardon.

Mhaga said the minister of justice and the president had no powers to reverse bail conditions set by the court that stipulated he report to the correctional centre within 14 days following the dismissal of his leave to appeal at the Constitutional Court earlier this month.

“The bail conditions still stand. King Dalindyebo must hand himself over to the correctional services tomorrow [Wednesday]. The minister of justice nor the president can interfere with bail conditions as long as there is no variation presented...,” Mhaga explained. 

Contralesa are asking for Dalindyebo to be granted clemency or be allowed to have a single cell during his stay in prison.

Can't mix him with criminals, subjects

"The fact is that he is the king. You can't just mix him with other criminals and his subjects. The department of correctional services should bear this in mind. He should be secluded in order to rehabilitate," Nonkonyana said.

Dalindyebo's convictions all related to the mistreatment of his subjects between 1995 and 1996 on a farm he owned near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

Dalindyebo set fire to the houses of three tenants to evict them because he believed they had breached tribal rules. He also brutally assaulted three young men in public for allegedly committing crimes.

A fourth man who was suspected of having been party to the alleged crimes, was killed by members of the community and the prosecution contended this was on Dalindyebo’s instructions, but the SCA was ultimately not convinced that the king was guilty of culpable homicide.

Read more on:    buyelekhaya dalindyebo  |  east london  |  crime

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