A faction of the AbaThembu royal family, which has previously failed to have acting king Azenathi Dalindyebo removed from the throne, has joined King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo in a bid to force his ex-wife Buyiswa Majiki and son Azenathi to conduct a paternity test.
The statement on Thursday, issued by the chairperson of the Ngangelizwe royal family, Prince Thanduxolo Mtirara, comes after Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo wrote WhatsApp messages to Majiki and Azenathi on Tuesday, telling them he never fathered the 26-year-old and that he wanted a DNA test conducted.
Bad blood between the father and son started in 2016 when Azenathi defied his father and made moves to become acting king when Buyelekhaya was sent to prison for 12 years after being found guilty of seven counts of kidnapping, three assaults, three arson and one of defeating the ends of justice - for terrorising his subjects in the 1990s.
In December last year, Buyelekhaya was released from prison after serving four years of his jail term. He was released as part of a remission process announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa just before Christmas.
But the king was re-arrested on 13 March at the Bumbane Great Place after he stormed the palace armed with an axe.
Azenathi, his wife, Usikhumbulile, 22, and three-year-old son Onesisa were chased out at around 3am.
Buyelekhaya is due in court on 1 June after he was released on a warning.
In response, Azenathi obtained a court order and asked the government to allocate VIP protection police officers at the gates of the palace, to prevent his father from entering.
This week, the controversial family made headlines again after the king launched into a tirade of abuse, with strongly worded messages to Majiki and Azenathi.
Attacking the Eastern Cape High Court judge, Buyelekhaya said: "Judges like your good self belong to [sic] garbage bin of law society."
He also ordered Azenathi to vacate the palace, before saying: "You are not my biological son and I am not your biological father. If you are disputing this, let's do a DNA test."
In a message written in isiXhosa to Majiki, which News24 has seen, Buyelekhaya said: "Good morning Buyiswa I am requesting you, me and Azenathi to conduct a DNA test."
Switching to English, he continued: "We need to do this as soon as possible … I need you to respond within 24 hours. In view of the pending cases [protection order] kindly consider one month or more for us to get results, all at my cost".
Several efforts made by News24 to get comment from Majiki drew a blank at the time of writing on Thursday. These included phone calls and text messages.
Azenathi's spokesperson Siganeko Dalindyebo said the acting king would issue a statement responding to his father at a later stage.
In his statement, Mtirara condemned the media for running stories about the royal drama, before referring to Azenathi as an "alleged son".
Mtirara said Azenathi was born out of wedlock and not once in the history of the AbaThembu kingdom has a son born out of wedlock ascended the throne.ALSO READ | Dalindyebo blames government for being throneless - report
"We similarly acknowledge that King (Buyelekhaya) Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo is well within his rights to request DNA or paternity testing be done, should he deem it fit, or need certainty in respect of his alleged son. There is nothing untoward with regards to that."
Mtirara said the paternity was not a new issue among the AbaThembu family.
"Before his release from prison in December 2019, King Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo had indicated to some senior members of the AbaThembu royal family that one of the reasons he was seeking parole was to resolve some issues in his personal household in order to restore stability in the Kingdom of AbaThembu."
Mtirara said: "Among those issues, were issues regarding his son's (Azenathi Dalindyebo) paternity. At the time, what was not discussed were the modalities of how such issues were to be handled or dealt with; furthermore, the extent in which the royal family was to be involved, if any."