Dalindyebo will be arrested - Justice dept

DECEMBER 23, 2015

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo will be arrested if he does not arrive at the Mthatha prison before midnight on Wednesday to start serving his 12-year jail term, the justice ministry said.

“We will arrest him. The bail conditions stand. If he doesn’t come, we will have him arrested," spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

He said Dalindyebo would not get preferential treatment in prison. Dalindyebo’s younger brother Siganeko earlier said the king would not hand himself over to correctional services voluntarily. The royal family said the king was looking forward to spending Christmas at home.

Eastern Cape correctional services commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast said they had had no communication with Dalindyebo. When he finally arrived at the prison, he would go through a 21-day orientation and see a psychologist, social worker, and doctor. He would be assessed to determine if he would go into a communal cell with the general population or be placed under observation.

If put with the general population, the king would have to share a cell meant to house 30 prisoners with between 40 and 45 other men, Breakfast said.

Dalindyebo had lodged a last-minute application petition to Justice Minister Michael Masutha to have his case reopened in terms of Section 327 of the Criminal Procedure Act. This would however not change his bail conditions, Mhaga said. According to the bail conditions Dalindyebo had to hand himself over by end of Wednesday, December 23.

"The relevant section is only applicable to that person if there is new evidence that has since surfaced that may affect his or her conviction. The Minister is currently considering the petition and will respond as soon as all the necessary assessment has been done," Mhaga said in a statement.

On December 2, the Constitutional Court dismissed Dalindyebo’s appeal against his 12-year jail sentence. In 2009, Dalindyebo was sentenced to 15 years in prison for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson, and kidnapping. He was granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

On October 1, the SCA set aside Dalindyebo's culpable homicide conviction, but upheld the other verdicts. It reduced his sentence to 12 years. He was subsequently granted R6 000 bail pending his appeal to the Constitutional Court.

The charges all related Dalindyebo's mistreatment of his subjects between 1995 and 1996, on a farm he owned near Mthatha.

Dalindyebo set fire to the houses of three tenants to evict them because he believed they had breached tribal rules. He publicly assaulted three young men for crimes they had allegedly committed. Dalindyebo's subjects beat to death a fourth man, Saziso Wafa, who they had suspected of having been party to the alleged crimes. They allegedly did this on the king's instructions. The SCA was however not convinced that the king was guilty of culpable homicide.