King Dalindyebo will spend Christmas at home - family

DECEMBER 23, 2015

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo and his family were in high spirits on Tuesday night, hours before he was scheduled to present himself at the Mthatha prison.

The royal family was singing and laughing, and said the king was looking forward to spending Christmas at home, according to a News24 correspondent who visited the king’s compound at Nkululekweni in Mthatha. The gates at Dalindyebo’s royal palace at the Bumbane Great Place were closed when News24 visited the home on Tuesday. 

Dalindyebo’s younger brother Siganeko said the king would not hand himself over to correctional services voluntarily.

“The king refuses to submit himself to the authorities to serve this 12 year sentence until the killers of Sizani Wofa have been brought to book. It looks like the authorities are after him. They would rather forgive the killers of a person just to get him,” Siganeko said. 

Dalindyebo’s lawyers intended to submit an urgent application to the Mthatha High Court to extend his bail for 14 days.

On December 2, the Constitutional Court dismissed Dalindyebo’s appeal against his 12-year jail sentence.

In 2009, he was convicted and 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 confirmed the rest of the 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 to 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 allegedly committing crimes.

Wofa was accused of having been party to the crimes and was beaten to death. During Dalindyebo's high court trial the prosecution contended it was done on his instructions. The SCA was however not convinced that the king was guilty of culpable homicide.