Cape Town - King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of the Thembu, a nephew of Nelson Mandela, will not be signed up by the DA as a public representative, but as a member of the party, says Eastern Cape DA leader Athol Trollip.
Trollip and King Dalindyebo are expected to meet on Monday to hold discussions about the king having recently declared his intention to join the DA.
Trollip said they were scheduled to meet at 12.30pm at Bumbane Great Place, King Dalindyebo’s homestead, about 6km from Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
He said the party would gladly accept King Dalindyebo as a member of the party, despite the prison sentence hanging over the king’s head.
“He has appealed. And until his appeal is exhausted, he does not technically have a sentence (at this stage),” Trollip said.
Dalindyebo faces a 15-year jail sentence for a range of violent crimes, including arson and culpable homicide.
He was found guilty in 2005 of ordering an attack on villagers. His appeal against his conviction and sentence is pending.
The king has also been criticised for admitting to smoking dagga in public.
Trollip said any person who broke the law by smoking dagga would not be allowed to be an office-bearer of the party.
“You can’t be a public representative if you openly state you smoke dagga,” he said.
But this activity did not prevent a person from being a DA member, said Trollip.
“Even convicts are allowed to vote,” he said.
“It’s a constitutional right.”
King Dalindyebo rules over more than 200 Thembu chiefs across South Africa, among them Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela, who is the chief of Mvezo in the Eastern Cape.
The king has caused controversy in recent weeks with statements lashing out at the ANC government and Mandla.
He has described the ANC government as corrupt hooligans, and says he is determined to join the DA.