King seeks reassurance from Zuma

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Copy of st secmug file Dalindyebo REUTERS Controversial AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo. Picture: Sumaya Hisham

Johannesburg - An anxious AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo wants a firm undertaking from President Jacob Zuma that he will not take any further steps against him in the future. This follows Zuma’s decision this week not to act on a request to dethrone the controversial king.

Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in the urgent application between Dalindyebo against Zuma that the government respondents were supposed to file their answering affidavits on or before August 29.

“The State Attorney has written to King Dalindyebo’s attorneys requesting the postponement of the matter when it comes before court on September 5 because it was not possible for government to complete certain internal processes before the answering affidavits could be filed.”

Maharaj said that in the meantime, the president “undertook not to act on the request for the withdrawal of the certificate of recognition of the king”.

Dalindyebo’s attorney, Bulwana Bangani, hit back in a response to the State attorney, stating that his client was “totally opposed” to the idea of postponing the application and “attendant uncertainty and agony which goes together with this matter”.

“We are instructed to request you ensure that the 1st respondent (Zuma), based on all information now at his disposal, should either withdraw his letter of July 23, alternatively, he should furnish a firm written undertaking not to take any further steps until the final determination of the dispute…” said Bangani.

Postponement without a “firm undertaking will not only result in untold prejudice, hardship and unnecessary anxiety for our client and the Abathembu nation, but will force him to incur further and unnecessary legal costs”.

The State Attorney’s office in Mthatha asked Dalindyebo’s legal team for a postponement to afford Zuma time to acquaint himself with the draft answering affidavit.

Zuma wrote to Dalindyebo in July, telling him to make representations about why his recognition certificate as king should not be withdrawn, after members of the Abathembu complained to the president.

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