Mthatha - An unrepentant AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has promised to fight his court case to the bitter end.
The controversial king – who was handed down 12 years in jail by the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein two weeks ago after he appealed a 15-year sentence imposed by the Mthatha High Court in 2009 – vowed to never go to jail.
Dalindyebo was addressing a general meeting of the AbaThembu nation at his Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha on Sunday afternoon regarding his decision to appeal his 12-year jail sentence at the Constitutional Court.
He was initially convicted for crimes ranging from culpable homicide, kidnapping, assault, arson and defeating the ends of justice.
The appeals court acquitted him on the culpable homicide charge but upheld the other convictions.
“I am not going to hand myself over to jail. I know they are waiting for my appeal to fail at the Constitutional Court. It does not mean I am defying the law. I don’t see myself going to jail while the killers [some of whom are allegedly state witnesses] of Saziso Wofa whom I was accused of having killed, do not go to jail,” he said.
He said some of the people who turned state witness in order to guarantee his conviction were murderers who were being protected by the state.
Royal family and Mandla
Dalindyebo also lambasted a faction of the royal family that wanted to have him dethroned. The faction included former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla, a Mvezo chief who fell under the king’s jurisdiction.
“This fake royal family are hoping that when I get to jail, my kingship will be taken away from me so that they can take over ... I will be king until I die.
“I was persecuted by Nelson Mandela. One of the main characters of this fake royal family is his grandson, Mandla. He is a chief today because of my mercy. If I was spiteful I would take it back,” he said.
Dalindyebo said Mandla was ungrateful because he [Dalindyebo] oversaw his circumcision ceremony from a boy into manhood at Bumbane Great Place, but now was shown little respect by him.
“I should be the person he respects the most. We don’t even know Mandla’s mother,” Dalindyebo said.
The visibly angry king said he was not scared of his enemies and would show them what he was made of.
In an interview with City Press, Mandla said Madiba had nothing to do with what the king was going through.
“My grandfather Dalibhunga had nothing to do with the case against Dalindyebo. He was charged by the authorities. Madiba is not a complainant in this case. He was not a witness and you will never find his name in any of the affidavits of this case,” Mandla said.
The Mvezo chief also laughed off claims by Dalindyebo that the late global icon was a dictator.
“He [Dalindyebo] must write a book and tell us all these things he knows about Dalibhunga that we clearly don’t know. In that way we can learn too. As the family of Mandela we are not against Dalindyebo’s house. We don’t know where these things come from, but we would like to be left alone. We are peace-loving people,” Mandla said.
Mandela, Jackie Selebi and death
Dalindyebo said his case had been revived by the “big boys”.
“There are men who revived this case. Some wanted me to go to jail and others wanted me to die. One of those men is Jackie Selebi. He was the first to go to jail and was the first to die. Selebi is one of the people used by Nelson Mandela to revive this case,” he said.
“This case was resuscitated by big boys who think they can do as they like in our kingdom because they are in power and when you contest, they take you out. That’s why I find myself in this situation, it’s because I said no to Nelson Mandela over my kingdom,” Dalindyebo said.
President Jacob Zuma and the ANC
The king said he would never go back to the ANC even though he was no longer a member of the Democratic Alliance.
Dalindyebo – who went to apologise to President Jacob Zuma last December after he insulted him several times – said the man from Nkandla was not a monster.
“When I approach some lawyers asking for them to defend me, they seemed scared of Zuma. Leave Zuma alone, he is not a monster. Zuma has done nothing wrong, you can insult him all you want,” he said.
Dalindyebo said Zuma’s homestead at Nkandla, which had seen the president come under a lot of criticism, was not of his making.
“I went to Nkandla. Zuma did not misappropriate any state money. His problem is that he is protecting those who did. He must expose them. Forgive Zuma. I am saying this even though I am not going back to the ANC. I feel sorry for him … even when I insulted him for the letter to dethrone me, I was insulting the wrong person. The letter to dethrone me was written while President Zuma was out of the country,” he said.