King Dalindyebo spends first night behind bars

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (Picture: AP)
Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (Picture: AP)

Johannesburg - AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo handed himself over at the Mthatha Correctional Centre minutes before midnight on Wednesday, where he is set to serve time behind bars. 

In a statement, justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said: "We confirm that King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo handed himself to the head of Mthatha Correctional Centre at 23h40 in the presence of the Regional Commissioner of the Eastern Cape.

"This was in compliance with a court order issued by Mthatha High Court on 23 December 2015."

As soon as he reported to the prison, the king underwent internal incarceration procedures before being admitted as an inmate. 

Dalindyebo had fought until the very end to stay out of jail. 

On Wednesday, hours before his deadline to turn himself in, the Eastern Cape High Court dismissed yet another of his applications to have his bail extended.

The king's lawyer, Yasmin Omar, stated that the judge had not given them reasons for his decision.  

"No indication was given for when we can expect the reasons for the dismissal of the application and we will continue with the case," said Omar.

On Tuesday, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced that he had dismissed an application by the king to have his case reopened. The king had penned a petition where he claimed to have been a victim of injustice.

He was granted a reprieve by the High Court in Mthatha on December 23, the day he was meant to report to the prison where he would start serving his 12-year sentence.

In 2009, Dalindyebo was sentenced to 15 years in prison for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson, and kidnapping. He was granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The SCA set aside his culpable homicide conviction and reduced his sentence to 12 years.

His crimes are related to the treatment of some of his subjects in 1995 and 1996.

Dalindyebo will be taken to the Wellington Prison outside Mthatha.

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