President Cyril Ramaphosa is seriously considering the issue of the presidential pardon for jailed AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
He revealed this while on his campaign trail in Butterworth, the Eastern Cape, on Friday when he addressed thousands of ANC supporters at the Umsobomvu Sports Grounds.
“The matter of his majesty the king is under consideration. And ... I am giving serious consideration to it. And I am saying everybody must just cool it and relax because the matter is being considered.
“It’s no longer like before when it was no longer under consideration. Now it is under consideration and that is where I would like to leave it for now,” Ramaphosa said.
Responding to a group of monarchs who gave him an ultimatum to release Dalindyebo or they would tell their subjects not to vote for the ANC, Ramaphosa said he was not working on a deadline on the matter.
“We don’t know what deadlines are for. We work according to the processes that we must get involved in,” said Ramaphosa in an interview on the sidelines of the ANC rally.
Three Eastern Cape monarchs – King Mpendulo Sigcawu of AmaXhosa, Queen Noloyiso of AmaRharhabe who was represented by Nkosi Mzubanzi Jali and Western Thembuland king Siyambonga Matanzima – were so impatient with the process that they gave Ramaphosa an ultimatum.
The monarchs met at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha this week and demanded that the president release the king.
Dalindyebo is serving a 12-year jail sentence since 2015, when he was convicted of kidnapping, arson, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.