If South Africa is governed by a democratic government where everyone is equal before the law, then this is perhaps, another reason for another protest in South Africa. A convicted king is about to walk free from his crimes because he is a king and that is completely unacceptable as it is contradicting the ideals of equity, fairness and justice.
King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, king of the abaThembu, and ruler of the bakwaDalindyebo lineage is known for his disregard for the president. He once regarded the president as a “Zulu boy”, a “liar who doesn’t use condoms” and publicly stated that “the president has a habit of not condomising. We do not like people with that kind of attitude. His behaviour is indeed a shower mentality,” he said.
But then, the king who was indicted in 2005 for crimes like arson, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and fraud, was subsequently convicted and was regarded as an “evil king” unfit to rule by some Thembu chiefs who demanded of Jacob Zuma then to dethrone Dalindyebo.
Knowing the law will soon permit justice to punish him for his crimes, the king visited Zuma at his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal and apologized for his remarks against the president. According to a News24 report, “the king came to apologies to President Zuma and said he had come to ‘humble himself before the president as a son to a father’ for his recent utterances…(he) gave the president a cow as a sign of his apology, and the president reciprocated by giving the king a cow as well as a sign of accepting the apology.”
As though the cows they exchanged established the platform for the king to walk free for his crimes, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) in the Eastern Cape is on a mission to petition Zuma on securing clemency for the king who was in October this year, sentenced to 12 years in prison.
While the king is expected to commence serving his term at the prison on Wednesday, Contralesa’s provincial chairperson, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane related that “the misunderstanding between the two men (the king and the president) should not blur any objective decision-making by the president.”
Nonkonyane revealed that the Congress will as well, meet with officials from the correctional services to demand that the king be kept apart from other prisoners. “The fact is that he is the king. You can’t just mix him with other criminals and his subjects. The department of correctional services should bear this in mind. He should be secluded in order to rehabilitate,” Nonkonyane added.