- EFF will present AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo with a brand new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe SUV.
- The kingdom has described the gift from the party as a restoration of the king's dignity.
- The party said it learnt through a News24 article that an ML class they hoped to buy Dalindyebo, was discontinued.
Keys to a brand new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe SUV, worth more than R1.8 million, will be handed over to AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, by the EFF on Saturday.
He would no longer receive an ML class, as announced by Dalindyebo during an EFF elections campaign gathering two weeks ago.
This, after News24 broke the news that the manufacturer discontinued the ML range.
The GLE would be officially handed over during a ceremony at the King's Nkululekweni residence in Mthatha, confirmed Dalindyebo's spokesperson Mthunzi Ngonyama.
He said the celebratory event would start at 10:00.
Ngonyama described the gift as a restoration of Dalindyebo's dignity.
In his invitation, with an accompanying photograph of the luxurious car, Dalindyebo's spokesperson Mthunzi Ngonyama said: "She [the car] is making her way to the King's Palace in this coming weekend at 10am to begin with her assigned Royal duties, we will be warmly welcoming her. You are so invited because this is part of Kumkani Zwelibanzi's dignity restoration that we have fought for."
Announcing the acquisition of the vehicle, Eastern Cape EFF chairperson Yazini Tetyana told News24: "We are delivering that GLE on Saturday, my brother. We will silence all those who doubted that we will deliver."
Explaining the slight change to the King's gift, Tetyana said: "We did not know the ML was discontinued because we are not a party of luxury things. We are a party of the poorest of the poor. News24 told the nation that car is discontinued. We would not know that information, the GLE replaces the ML."
Two weeks ago Dalindyebo joined EFF leader Julius Malema on the campaign trail where he announced that Malema had promised him a car.
Dalindyebo took a swipe at government officials, saying that, unlike Malema, they did not respect kings.
He said: "They give us X3s and X5s - cars that get stuck in mud."
He added that Malema's gift was of "royal calibre" and urged his subjects to vote EFF in the municipal elections.
The ANC did not take kindly to the king's sudden change of allegiance, with its provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayithobi accusing Dalindyebo of selling out his nation for EFF gifts.
He also urged AbaThembu to ignore the monarch and called on the Public Protector and Hawks to investigate how the EFF raised the money for the car, accusing them of being "well-known thieves".
In response, Tetyana called Ngcukayithobi a fool who did not deserve a response from EFF.
Social media users accused the EFF of buying AbaThembu votes with the car.
But the kingdom and EFF dismissed the allegations, saying that Dalindyebo and the EFF were in a friendship that began when he was incarcerated in 2015.
Many of AbaThembu did not heed the king's instruction to vote EFF.
Instead, they helped the ANC take control of AbaThembu territories during the local government elections.
The ANC took Mthatha-based King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality (KSD), named after Buyelekhaya's father, after garnering 64.3% of the vote, while the EFF managed 6.97%.
The ANC now has 48 seats in council, followed by the UDM with 11, while the EFF could only muster five.
In the Ngcobo municipality, the ANC retained the municipality with 82% of the vote.
The ANC secured 32 seats in the council, with the EFF and UDM garnering two apiece, while the ATM, DA and PAC each got one.
The ruling party took all 20 wards in the Ngcobo municipality.