The Council of Churches South Africa International is expected to hand over a petition outside Parliament calling for the release of jailed Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo. File photo: Sumaya Hisham

Johannesburg - He’s still a king but he is no longer on the payroll.

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has finally been dumped from the government payroll by the Eastern Cape government.

“The salary of King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was discontinued with effect from February 2016 as approved by the head of department,” said Mamnkeli Ngam, the spokesman for the provincial Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs.

“The salary paid to him for the month of February 2016 will be recovered from his gratuities. Therefore, the king will not receive his salary in March 2016.”

Dalindyebo received two salary payments since going to jail on December 30 - on January 15 and on February 15. A king is paid R1 137 922 a year, or R94 826 a month.

Last month, the department wrote to him to warn him his salary would be terminated.

Dalindyebo was convicted in 2009 of crimes committed in 1995 and 1996 but remained on bail until the Constitutional Court rejected his final appeal attempt last year. The Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA has petitioned the president for a pardon for him.

Dalindyebo retains his kingship despite his criminal record, as the president must sign off on his removal. The abaThembu royal family formally asked the president to remove Dalindyebo in 2012 because of his criminal conviction and behaviour, but President Jacob Zuma has not done so.

Since January, the Presidency has ignored The Star’s requests for an explanation of Dalindyebo’s status.

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