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King Dalindyebo’s victims, royal family want him jailed

JULY 6, 2015
King Dalindyebo’s victims, royal family want him jailed

One of the people who fell victim to a reign of terror overseen by abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo says he and the king’s other victims have been made to wait too long to see the controversial monarch sent to prison for his crimes.

Mbuzeni Makhwenkwana (53) has been involved in something of a David-and-Goliath battle with the king since 1996. Makhwenkwana, whose house was torched, is one of seven of Dalindyebo’s victims who have written to various government institutions, as well as to President Jacob Zuma, demanding to know why the king continues to be a free man despite being convicted of serious crimes by the Eastern Cape High Court in 2009.

In an interview with City Press, Makhwenkwana said authorities had not provided clarity on why Dalindyebo’s appeal process had taken so many years, while those involving ordinary people were often dealt with speedily.

“We demand that Dalindyebo go to jail to serve his 15-year sentence and for government to reimburse us as his victims for our losses. Dalindyebo is a representative of government and is paid by government, so they must reimburse us for our losses while he goes to jail,” said Makhwenkwana.

Dalindyebo was found guilty of culpable homicide for the death of Saziso Wofa, and was also convicted of arson, defeating the ends of justice, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.

He was sentenced to 15 years by high court Judge Sytze Alkema. He has appealed that sentence, but there has not been clarity as to when the appeal might be heard.

Makhwenkwana said he had been informed that the king was due to appear before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on August 21, but he doubted that anything would happen.

The father of four said it broke his heart to see so many years wasted in a bid for justice.

He said his issue with Dalindyebo started in 1995 when the king began to torment his community of Tyalara, setting alight Makhwenkwana’s home and those of two other men in the village.

The king was also found guilty of having kidnapped some of the villagers, including a woman and her six children, and of having instructed and participated in the assault of four men, which resulted in the death of Wofa.

[Makhwenkwana’s] recent letter is dated June 22 and addressed to President Zuma; Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng; Justice Minister Michael Masutha; Public Protector Thuli Madonsela; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Eastern Cape counterpart, MEC Fikile Xasa; as well as Premier Phumulo Masualle. In the letter, Makhwenkwana calls for equal justice.

“We demand that government authorities discharge their duties without fear or favour … we therefore demand the finalisation of the appeal process; we demand that the king should be suspended or removed in order to relieve us from all his forms of brutality,” reads the letter.

Seen by City Press, the letter signs off with the words: “From the victims of the king, who lost their families and property and were traumatised due to his acts of terror.”

The king’s spokesperson, Mfundo Mtirara, could not be reached for comment.

Daludumo Mtirara, the spokesperson for the royal family of the kingdom of abaThembu, confirmed receipt of the letter, and also expressed support for it.

Mtirara said: “This move shows that we were correct when we took the decision to remove Dalindyebo in 2012.

“We feel vindicated and we hope that the law will take its course because this matter has been dragging for far too long, with the victims still waiting for justice to this day.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s regional spokesperson, Luxolo Tyali, said the state was ready to argue its case when the matter went on appeal.