- The ANC has accused King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of selling out the abaThembu nation after he instructed them to vote EFF in the upcoming local government elections.
- Dalindyebo has been gifted a cow by the party and promised a luxury Mercedes Benz SUV worth about R1.5m.
- King Dalindyebo said the EFF was there for him when he was incarcerated and even sent advocate Dali Mpofu to give free legal advice.
The ANC has urged the abaThembu nation in the Eastern Cape to ignore King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo's call to vote for the EFF and to do the opposite by voting for it instead.
Eastern Cape ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayithobi was addressing ANC supporters in the Amathole district municipality on Monday, when he made the call.
Ngcukayithobi's statement comes a day after Dalindyebo was visited by EFF leader Julius Malema at his Nkululekweni residence in Mthatha where he was gifted a cow and promised a luxurious Mercedes Benz SUV worth R1.5 million.
READ | AbaThembu king thanks Malema for 'brand new car', throws weight behind EFF for upcoming elections
During the visit, Dalindyebo pledged his support to the EFF in the municipal elections and called on his nation to do the same and vote EFF in a bid to "teach [the] ANC a lesson".
The king's statement angered the ruling party in the province.
Ngcukayithobi said the Hawks and the Public Protector should investigate how the EFF purchased the car because they were "well-known thieves".
Ngcukayithobi said the rights of voters and their choice of a party, were in the hands of voters, not a king.
"The king must just take the car and not sell [out] the nation," said Ngukayithobi to thunderous applause from the crowd.
Ngcukayithobi described the EFF as a party formed by some of the "worst thieves" the world had ever seen.
READ | 'ANC is a devil's fart' - King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo on tender corruption scandal
Defending the move, Dalindyebo's spokesperson Mthunzi Ngonyama said the EFF was there for the king when he was jailed and that the EFF had even deployed advocate Dali Mpofu to provide the king with free legal advice.
He said the king was reciprocating this loyalty.
In July 2013, Dalindyebo defected from the ANC and joined the DA, but his membership was terminated immediately after losing his appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2015 and was jailed for 12 years.
He was sentenced for kidnapping, assault, arson and defeating the ends of justice following his conviction in 2009.
READ | The Mercedes ML that Malema is said to be buying for King Dalindyebo has been discontinued
His imprisonment was for atrocities he inflicted on his subjects in the 1990s.
However, Dalindyebo was released from prison by President Cyril Ramaphosa on a special remission of sentence on 23 December 2019 after having served four years of the 12-year sentence.
Responding to Ngckayithobi's statement, Eastern Cape EFF chairman Yazini Tetyana said: "That one is a fool and doesn’t deserve our response; he is a nobody, a fellow traveller in politics. A non-starter who can never speak to us on anything."
Tetyana also defended the party's decision to gift Dalindyebo the vehicle.
Tetyana said the EFF would go ahead and deliver the car to the king after the 1 November elections.
He claimed: "When you assist a king, you assist a nation because the king services the people. We want the king to reach whatever area that he wishes to reach in comfort, so that is the intention behind this gesture."
He said the party did not grant Dalindyebo the car to score political points, adding that the gift was borne out of Malema's generosity.
ALSO | King Dalindyebo: 'I don't like being ruled by presidents and premiers, I want to rule myself'
Asked if the king needed the luxury car, Tetyana said: "He needs the car. We can even buy him a helicopter."
While many believed the party could have used the R1.5 million paid for the car to build homes for the poor instead, Tetyana said: "No one determines the projects or the programme of the EFF, no one. We have built houses before and no one notices us."
As for those who may view the gesture as a way of buying votes, Tetyana said: "We never went to the king with the intention of buying him the car. We visited the king because we have a special relationship with the king. Remember when he was incarcerated and then hospitalised, we were the first to be there. The president of the EFF led a delegation."
He said when Dalidyebo mentioned that his work was hampered by transport issues and that he would love to get a bakkie, Malema offered to buy him the SUV.