Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo accuses son of palace coup
Dalindyebo’s spokesperson Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama told Independent Media on day that Prince Azenathi, who is Dalindyebo’s first-born and acting king, does not have a birthright to be king.
“Our constitution has failed to protect the king. The king has been embarrassed and humiliated by the manner in which he had been prevented from going to his house,” he said.
Ngonyama was reacting to Friday’s incident in which Dalindyebo was arrested after he allegedly stormed the palace in the Eastern Cape and attacked his son and his wife Ongezwa while they were asleep.
Soon after the Mthatha District Court had released the king on a warning, Azenathi went to the Mthatha Magistrate's Court to obtain a protection order.
Ngonyama said the king was shocked by his son’s action, which effectively barred him from accessing his palace for “the next five years of his parole”.
He said as the king was unaware of the protection order, after the Mthatha District Court had released him with an order to return to court on June 1, he drove to Bumbane.
“On his way, he received a call from a police officer saying that he would be arrested if he entered the palace, and therefore he turned back,” said Ngonyama.
He maintained that the king had gone to his palace to force his son to vacate the property, with no intention to harm him.
He further said Azenathi should vacate the palace because it was a tradition that once a son married he should find his own home.
Ngonyama also said Azenathi was not heir as Dalindyebo was yet to marry a queen who would give birth to the rightful heir.
“But you will think that Azenathi is that someone. No, he is not and he knows that and his mother also knows it. People took advantage of the fact that the king was arrested and paralysed and now Azenathi thinks he is a better person to be king,” he said.
The king was released from East London prison on parole in December after serving four years of his 12-year sentence for grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice and arson.
Abathembu elders appointed Azenathi to assume his father's role while he was in jail.
Azenathi’s spokesperson Prince Thandisizwe Mtirara asked for the matter to be left to the family to deal with.
AbaThembu chairperson Vusi Mvelase said Azenathi was right to obtain a protection order against his father. “He (Azenathi) was attacked while the government is not doing anything to protect him.
“This was a protection order to prevent his father from attacking him again,” said Mvelase.
He noted that it was members of the family, “including grandmothers”, who instructed Azenathi to obtain a protection order.
“It was because he could be attacked and assaulted again. If a person is released from prison after serving a sentence for attacking people, he should be given restrictions.
“It is annoying me when it is portrayed as if Azenathi is against his father, whereas Azenathi was the one who negotiated with the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) for his father’s release,” said Mvelase.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana confirmed a protection order against the king. “The protection order states that he should not threaten the complainant and the family. It said he should not have direct or indirect contact with the complainant,” said Kinana.