Newlywed Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo is confident of winning all the legal battles mounted against him and conquer what he called the “devil’s work”.
He is doing battle with his father in the Mthatha High Court over the reopening of the Bumbane Great Place, while also taking on his uncle over the kingship in the Grahamstown High Court.
Plus, the ancestors are said to be angry about his “unauthorised and uncustomary” wedding this weekend – and two leaders who attended the ceremony were involved in car accidents on their way home.
But Azenathi is undeterred.
“God is helping us and has already helped us despite the devil’s work and hiccups here and there. We know that before there is light there is darkness. We are going to win. We will conquer everything. I am not scared,” he said.
He spoke to City Press shortly after he appeared at the Mthatha High Court where he is battling it out with his imprisoned father, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, and his wife, Queen Nokwanda, over the opening of the Bumbane Great Place.
Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo. Photo Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press
Early this month Azenathi secured an interim court interdict to open the great place against his father’s wishes. He had instructed prior to his incarceration in December that it be closed.
Queen Nokwanda and her husband, Buyelekhaya [Azenathi’s father], appear in court papers as first and second respondents, respectively, and Azenathi is the applicant.
Another interdict case is under way in the Grahamstown High Court regarding the installation of his uncle Mthandeni as acting king – which Azenathi has branded as “foolishness”.
Mthandeni was installed as acting king by another faction of the royal family last month outside the gates of a locked Bumbane Great Place.
“They were foolish enough to go to Grahamstown even though there is no judge to hear the case yet. They went there wasting their money because of their foolishness. We will only go to Grahamstown tomorrow if there is a judge,” Azenathi said.
On Saturday Azenathi tied the knot with 19-year-old Ongezwa Zwedala in a traditional wedding ceremony held at the Bumbane Great Place after he had the locks changed.
King Dalindyebo had initially anointed Azenathi to act in his place but changed his mind on the eve of his incarceration – opting that his wife act as regent in his absence.
The fight for the throne of AbaThembu’s highest office has pitted brother against brother and divided the nation. Three groupings are all claiming legitimacy.
Azenathi, a 24-year-old criminology student at the University of the Free State, could take over the position if his uncle Mthandeni fails to convince the Grahamstown High Court.
The urgent application will be held in Grahamstown tomorrow, while at the Mthatha High Court today proceedings were postponed until January 17.
Mthandeni’s spokesperson. Nkosi Daludumo Mtirara, said: “It was a very difficult decision to take when King Elect [Mthandeni] had to file papers in Grahamstown against his nephew last Tuesday to interdict the planned coronation of Azenathi despite numerous efforts to advise him to stop continuing with the event.
“However, the influence of external parties who have vested interest in the kingdom of AbaThembu advised his nephew incorrectly.”
Meanwhile shortly after leaving the Mthatha High Court, the prince visited Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana, the chairperson of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa who was involved in a car accident in Mbizana after attending Azenathi’s wedding on Saturday.
Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana at the Bedford Hospital in Mthatha. Photo Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press
Nonkonyana’s Mercedes Benz, which was driven by his nephew, lost control at Redoubt in Mbizana and plunged into a ditch along the road. He broke his leg and was operated on on Monday at the Bedford Hospital in Mthatha.
“Next to Redoubt my driver lost control and unfortunately hit the side I was in and I was hit by the airbags as well. I was the only one injured. My son [Mninawa] I was told today had an eye injury but he is out of danger now. And of course I had a successful operation on Monday. I was prioritised. I was very happy. I hope I will be healed soon,” said Nonkonyana who was battling to speak due to a swollen mouth which had stitches.Prince Azenathi visits Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana who is recovering at the Bedford Hospital in Mthatha following a car accident on Saturday night in Mbizana. Photo Lubabalo Ngcukana/City Press
Following Nonkonyana’s accident and that of another brother of king Buyelekhaya, Prince Siganeko, who escaped unharmed also after attending the wedding of Azenathi, Mthandeni said that this showed the wrath of the ancestors who were opposed to Azenathi’s “unauthorised and uncustomary” wedding event.
“I was not surprised when I heard that Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana and Prince Siganeko Dalindyebo were involved in different accidents just after such an unauthorised and uncustomary event. I would like to warn all not to temper with honourable royal places belonging to our ancestors,” he said.