Jailed AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo speaks to journalists in Pretoria July 10, 2013. File photo: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham.
It's claimed that AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was punished and sentenced to jail for his decision to dump the ANC and join the DA.

This is according to the president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa), Kgoshi Mathupa Mokoena, in his reaction following Dalindyebo’s release on Sunday from the East London Correctional Centre where he was serving a 12-year jail sentence. “The incarceration of King Dalindyebo was politically motivated.

“At some point, the king joined the DA and that did not go down well with the authorities in the government,” Mokoena said.

“One former minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Richard Baloyi) was sacked for refusing to take disciplinary action against King Dalindyebo.”

Dalindyebo’s spokesperson Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama revealed that the royal family was planning to conduct a ritual for the king that would include a “cleansing ceremony” before he could take up his duties.

After his release, Dalindyebo had to travel from East London Correctional Service Centre for two hours and 30 minutes on a road trip to the Great Bumbane Palace in Umtata.

Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama had accompanied the king’s wife Queen Nokwanda Dalindyebo to East London for his formal hand-over to his family upon his release.

The king was, however, driven to this family home by prison officials.

“The king is resting at his private residence. He will, in the coming days, address his people and make pronouncements to them about things he intends to do for them,” Ngonyama said. The king’s release followed President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing his decision to grant a special remission of sentence to certain categories of prisoners in his Reconciliation Day speech in Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal.

In 2009, the high court in the Eastern Cape sentenced Dalindyebo to 15 years on seven counts of kidnapping, three each of assault and arson and one of defeating the ends of justice and culpable homicide. He appealed against the convictions and sentence at the Supreme Court of Appeal, which reduced his sentence to 12 years.

Mokoena meanwhile said Dalindyebo’s release on parole was not what they bargained for, saying: “We will apply for a presidential pardon and his sentence to be expunged.

“Traditional leaders did not get any guidance while the king was jailed. We are being led by Republicans. They hate traditional leaders.”

He was adamant that jail was not an appropriate place for a king, saying that in the past when “a king has wronged people an appropriate punishment would be to give the affected party 10 or more head of cattle.

“The South African government made history by incarcerating a sitting king. It is foreign to us. It was done by a black government.”

Political Bureau