'King Dalindyebo remains the King of Abathembu': Cogta

OCTOBER 6, 2015

While AbaThembu Prince Avenathi Dalindyebo, 23, was appointed over the weekend to succeed his father, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, if his Constitutional Court bid to have his 12 year jail sentence overturned fails, the Eastern Cape Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has come out saying the older Dalindyebo was still the King.

"[Cogta] wishes to clarify its standpoint on the position of King following the decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal to reject his application to appeal the Mthatha High Court 2010 conviction for arson, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, culpable homicide and defeating the ends of justice, amongst other crimes," the department said in a statement.

"The powers to recognise and de-recognise a King reside with the President of the Republic."

It said that in terms of the Framework Act, 2003, the royal family is expected to formally inform the President, the Eastern Cape Premier and the national Minister of Cogta giving reasons why the King or Queen should be removed from his/her position.

A King or Queen may be removed from office on the grounds of;

• A conviction of an offence with a sentence of imprisonment for more than 12 months without an option of a fine.
• Physical incapacity or mental illness which, based on acceptable medical evidence, makes it impossible for the king or queen to function as such;
• Wrongful appointment or recognition; or
• A transgression of a customary rule or principle that warrants removal.

"On the basis of a submission by the Royal Family to the President, he must withdraw the certificate of recognition to a King or Queen and effect removal accordingly," the department said.

"The decision of the President is then published with particulars of the removed king or queen in the Gazette and inform the royal family concerned and the removed King or Queen."

It added that where a King or Queen is removed from office, a successor in line with customs may assume the position, roles and responsibilities, subject to the royal family having taken a resolution and formally informed the President.

"In the case of King Dalindyebo, The President’s office and the National department will lead the process at the appropriate time and inform the Provincial Government as the matter falls outside the powers of the Premier in terms of the Governing Legislation. Therefore, King Dalindyebo remains the King of Abathembu."