Royal knot over vows

2016-11-20 06:00
Azenathi Dalindyebo and princess Ongezwa Usikhumbulile Zwedala at their wedding in Umtata on Friday. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana

Azenathi Dalindyebo and princess Ongezwa Usikhumbulile Zwedala at their wedding in Umtata on Friday. Picture: Lubabalo Ngcukana

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A faction of the abaThembu royal house has slammed the traditional wedding of King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s son Prince Azenathi as a “joke”.

Azenathi (24) and his wife, Ongezwa “Usikhumbulile” Zwedala (19), tied the knot during a traditional wedding at Bumbane Great Place this past Friday.

Usikhumbulile is the name given to Ongezwa as part of the traditional marriage when the bridegroom’s family welcomes a bride.

City Press has learnt that Azenathi had to wed to prop up his image as the rightful heir and future king of the abaThembu nation. He has been appointed by his supporters in the family to act in the place of his father, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who is serving a 12-year sentence at East London Correctional Centre in the Eastern Cape.

The king’s crimes include arson, kidnapping, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.

There are two acting abaThembu kings, appointed by two factions of the Ngangelizwe royal family. Another acting king is Azenathi’s uncle, Mthandeni (47), who is the jailed king’s younger brother. He was recommended by the Tolo Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims as the appropriate person to take the king’s place.

Azenathi’s appointment as the acting king, by a faction of the amaDlomo royal family on October 30, has been met with resistance from two other groups, one led by Mthandeni and the other group supporting Azenathi’s stepmother Queen Nokwanda Dalindyebo, also to act in the king’s place.

Mthandeni has filed papers at the Grahamstown High Court to interdict plans by a royal faction to crown the young Azenathi as acting king. Azenathi is expected to oppose the application in court on Tuesday.

Mthandeni’s supporter and royal house spokesperson, Chief Dalidumo Mtirara said Azenathi’s wedding was just “illegal” and he described it as a joke. Mtirara said it was telling that the abaThembu nation disagreed with Azenathi’s coronation, and according to him, they shunned the wedding, making it look like “a funeral of a stillborn baby”.

“It’s only close friends and children who attended the wedding, to feast on meat and drink booze,” he said.

“Elders in Bumbane were watching from their doorsteps and did not attend. We did not bother to get details of his wife because we know this is umpuco [a fun game played by children]. We are thankful to the abaThembu people and South Africans because they saw that this was not legal and part of our customs,” Mtirara said. He added that “the truth” would be revealed in court on Tuesday.

He warned Azenathi’s supporters, led by Prince Siganeko Dalindyebo, to stop their illegal acts. Efforts to get comment from Siganeko were unsuccessful.


Who should be the acting king of the abaThembu nation – Azenathi, his uncle Mthandeni, or Queen Nokwanda?

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Read more on:    buyelekhaya dalindyebo  |  abathembu

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