AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has waived his right to apply for temporary release from prison in order to attend the funeral of AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu.
The incarcerated traditional leader has told government that he would rather not attend the funeral on Friday because he did not want to cause a spectacle when the late royal is laid to rest.
A number of public calls had been made for the king to be granted the compassionate leave, including a strong push by the ANC in the Amathole region, who called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to intervene.
The call was reportedly met with resistance from the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA who said it would not be proper for him to be released only to be sent back to prison. He is serving a 12-year sentence for three counts of arson, three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, one count of defeating the ends of justice and one count of kidnapping.
The king set fire to the homes of three of his subjects and tenants, who he wanted evicted because he believed they had breached tribal rules.
Dalindyebo is still waiting for the outcome of his application for a presidential pardon.