Durban - Tensions are worsening at the Abathembu kingdom in the Eastern Cape as recently released from prison King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is accused of emotionally hurting his family members by continuing to refuse to meet them, including his elder son Prince Azenathi, who is acting king.
Azenathi’s spokesperson and close family member Inkosi Thandisizwe Mtirara said Azenathi was hurt by being abandoned and sidelined by his father who is currently living with one of his three wives, Queen Nokwanda, at his private Enkululekweni residence in Mthatha.
“If Zwelibanzi (Dalindyebo) is not told the truth, he would continue to cause confusion in the royal family, and I am not afraid to confront him as we had confronted him before he went to prison to tell him that we cannot accept his wrongful behaviour,” Mtirara said. “We want the father (Dalindyebo) to meet the son and have discussions, and if they disagree they should consult us as elders to give them direction.”
Mtirara said ever since Dalindyebo was released on parole on December 22 after spending four years in prison, he had refused to meet most of his immediate family members, including his other two wives, queens Judge Nokholeji who is Azenathi’s mother, and Noluntu, a former teacher whom he divorced but according to Mtirara was still regarded as wife and royal family member in terms of custom.
Mtirara said after Dalndyebo’s release on December 22, Azenathi, who occupied Bumbane Great Palace, went to visit him at Enkululekweni to welcome his father back to the Abathembu nation the following morning, but he was turned away.
“We first thought that he turned us away because he was tired and wanted to relax as he told us that he would phone him (Azenathi) to talk, but he has never called him for reasons unknown to us.
“Being tired did not mean that he could not meet his own son,” he said.
He said among issues that Azenathi wanted to discuss with his father were whether the parole conditions allowed him to take back the throne.
“Our knowledge is that if a person had been released through parole there was a slim chance of reclaiming his position until the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) grants him a presidential pardon,” he said.
Describing Azenathi’s feelings about his father’s behaviour, Mtirara, who is Dalindyebo’s uncle and chairperson of the royal family council, said Azenathi was hurt by being unable to meet his father.
“To such an extent that he would say, ‘why has my father abandoned me while he was the one who brought me into this earth’. If I was the one released from prison, the first people to see me would have been all my children before meeting any other people, but he does not want to see his children.”