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Jailed King Dalindyebo declines offer to attend King Sigcawu funeral

Nov 27, 2019
Jailed King Dalindyebo declines offer to attend King Sigcawu funeral

Bhisho - The Eastern Cape government on Wednesday confirmed that jailed AbaThembu King, Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo, had declined an offer for leave from jail to attend the official funeral of AmaXhosa King Mpendulo 'Ah Zwelonke' Sigcawu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy on Friday when the king will be laid to rest. Ramaphosa honoured the late King Zwelonke Mpendulo Sigcawu by declaring a Special Official Funeral Category 1 for His Majesty.

Dalindyebo is currently serving a 12-year sentence in prison for arson, assault, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

The King allegedly acted like a medieval despot according to the State.

However, the Supreme Court of Appeal, where he had sought to stay out of jail, the Abathembu king’s 15-year jail sentence was replaced with a 12-year term.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape then welcomed the jailing of the King

The Democratic Alliance (DA) also announced that it would cancel the King's party membership due to the seriousness of the crimes he was convicted on.

The AbaThembu royal council appointed King Dalindyebo's then 23 year-old son, Prince Azenathi Zanelizwe Dalindyebo, as acting king.

'Dalindyebo refused offer to allow him to attend funeral'

"It has come to our attention as the provincial government that there are public calls for  government to grant temporary compassionate leave to the King of Abathembu, his Majesty Ah! Zwelibanzi to attend the funeral service of the late King of AmaXhosa, his Majesty Ah! Zwelonke who will be laid to rest in Nqadu this Friday," described Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane. 

"We can confirm that there were engagements between government and King Zwelibanzi on this matter inline with section 44 of the Correctional Services Act. 

"It was the decision of King Zwelibanzi that he will not be attending the funeral service for King Zwelonke because his attendance of the funeral service might cause unnecessary distraction during this difficult moment for Amaxhosa and the people of South Africa at large." 

Mabuyane said that government respects the decision of King Zwelibanzi.

"We call on all the people of the province to also respect the decision of the King of Abathembu on this specific matter."

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