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King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of the abaThebu as we related, was indicted and subsequently convicted for arson, fraud, kidnapping, attempted murder, and murder. He was in October, sentenced to 12 years in prison.
But then his status as a king became an issue. The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South African in the Eastern Cape petitioned the President to secure clemency for the guilty king who according to them, “is the king” and can’t “mix with other criminal and his subjects.”
King Dalindyebo tried all he could to stay out of jail. When he was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson, and kidnapping, he appealed to the Supreme Court and was granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal. The Supreme Court of Appeal however, discharged the culpable homicide conviction and reduced Dalindyebo sentence to 12 years.
The King forwarded many petitions, and got himself a reprieve from the High Court in Mthatha on December 23 which was the day he was meant to report to the prison to start serving his 12-year sentence. He then petitioned that he was a victim of injustice, and applied for his case to be reopened, but the application was dismissed.
Within few hours to the deadline for Dalindyebo to turn himself in, the Court received yet another application for his bail to be extended. The Eastern Cape High Court again dismissed the application leaving the king with no option but to avail himself at the Mthatha Correctional Center just about midnight on Wednesday to commence his time behind bars.
A statement from Mthunzi Mhaga, justice spokesperson confirmed that “in compliance with a court order issued by Mthatha High Court on 23 December 2015…King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo handed himself to the head of Mthatha Correctional Centre at 23h40 in the presence of the Regional Commissioner of the Eastern Cape.”
News24 related that “as soon as he reported to the prison, the king underwent internal incarceration procedures before being admitted as an inmate.”
Celebrating the triumph of justice, the Congress of the People (Cope) called on the president to face his own prosecution in open court. The party reminds “Zuma that nobody is above the law. If the king can go to jail for his transgression‚ so must any other important personage in the land who committed a crime and is found guilty in court.” said Bloem. They called on the president “to stop manipulating and damaging the criminal justice system to avoid having his day in court”.
He (Jacob Zuma) must answer all of the 700 charges he has tried to wriggle out of through abuse of power and the willing collusion of the whole of the (African National Congress‚ South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Union…His unwillingness to face prosecution in open court is an admission of guilt by fearful and manipulative behavior…He must also stop abusing the taxpayers of our country by running up legal expenses which he does not have to pay from his pocket…the tripartite alliance must urge Zuma to face prosecution because his unending manipulation is damaging to the reputation of our country and it brings the tripartite alliance into serious disrepute.