Jailed abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has lost his R1.13 million salary and official car, while 60 traditional leaders in Mpumalanga have been given luxury cars worth almost R30 million.
In addition, each traditional council of the province received five young cows worth R12 million.
Des van Rooyen, minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, provided this information in two written responses to parliamentary questions issued yesterday.
Corne Mulder, MP of the FF Plus, asked Van Rooyen whether Dalindyebo’s financial benefits would be suspended in view of the fact that he was serving a 12-year prison sentence.
Dalindyebo has been behind bars for arson, assault and obstructing justice since December.
Van Rooyen replied that the Eastern Cape provincial government had indicated that Dalindyebo’s salary of R1.13 million would be suspended with effect from March. His state car was withdrawn in December.
In the absence of provisions in legislation concerning the suspension of the king’s salary, Van Rooyen had, among others, written to the MEC for local government to stop Dalindyebo’s compensation.
To a question whether the state paid or would pay any monetary compensation to the king, Van Rooyen responded: “No, the king is in prison and can no longer carry out his duties. Continuing to pay him would constitute irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure.”
According to Van Rooyen, the appointment of a temporary acting king had not been finalised because the family was still consulting on the matter.
In reply to another question by Democratic Alliance MP Kevin Mileham, Van Rooyen said 60 traditional leaders received new cars – including two Mercedes-Benz ML400s, two Chevrolet Trailblazers, 12 Ford Rangers, 35 Toyota Fortuners and nine Audi Q5s – from the Mpumalanga provincial government on behalf of their respective traditional councils.
The cars that were replaced were four years old because they were bought in the 2010-2011 financial year.
Van Rooyen confirmed that each traditional council in Mpumalanga received five young cows.
He said one of the provincial department’s targets was to encourage the participation in livestock farming by previously disadvantaged people.
The traditional leaders, like any other citizens, received the livestock because they also qualified for them in terms of the department’s established criteria, explained Van Rooyen. He added that people were not supported according to their status, but according to the criteria set by the department.