The police has launched an investigation into the death of AbaThembu Chief Daludumo Mtirara.
Mtirara was found lying dead in his room on Thursday night. Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said there are strong indications that the chief killed himself after a firearm was found near him.
A relative of the deceased, who pleaded anonymity said Mtirara shot himself in his home in Pretoria.
Police’s Masondo said: “Family members alerted the police after discovering the body of the deceased at about six this morning. Upon arrival, police saw the body of the deceased lying on his bed with a gun wound on his upper body.”
Chief Daludumo Mtirara is said to be a strong rival of jailed King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s son – Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo. Like King Dalindyebo, Mtirara had wanted the king’s younger brother, Prince Jongisizwe Dalindyebo to succeed him instead of his son.
Another royal member revealed that the coronation ceremony of Prince Azenathi was scheduled to hold on Friday, adding that the ceremony will still hold despite Mtirara’s sudden and shocking death.
“Some family members are unaware of the situation. They are still preparing for Azenathi. It’s a shock, but the ceremony will go as planned,” the source said.
Abathembu King Dalindyebo is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence at Wellington Prison near Mthatha for kidnapping, arson, assault, and defeating the ends of justice. These crimes were committed in the 990s.
In March, he missed out as 60 traditional leaders received new cars – including two Mercedes-Benz ML400s, two Chevrolet Trailblazers, 12 Ford Rangers, 35 Toyota Fortuners and nine Audi Q5s – from the Mpumalanga provincial government on behalf of their respective traditional councils. This came after his name was removed from Government’s payroll days earlier.
He also didn’t attend the burial of one of his five wives Queen Nolitha Dalindyebo, which in August. Speakers at the funeral seized the medium to ask for the King’s freedom.