/ 7 July 2013

AbaThembu king may be removed after criticising Mandla

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo in 2009.
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo in 2009.

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo – who on Sunday called for Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla to be deposed as chief of Mvezo – may not be a ruler for much longer himself, according to a senior member of the abaThembu royal family.

Chief Daludumo Mtirara, Dalindyebo's brother, told the South African Press Association that the royal family was waiting for the government to process documents confirming that Dalindyebo had been removed as head of the family.

“The family are waiting for the government to process the documents confirming that he has been removed,” Mtirara said.

“Once the government has done its work, the royal family will sit and identify a suitable candidate to take over as king, as is our custom. We are guided by custom.”

On Sunday, Dalindyebo, who recently announced that he would be joining the Democratic Alliance and promised he would stop smoking dagga “the day President Jacob Zuma stops being corrupt", said that Mandla Mandela had used the family graves “as a dancing floor”.

He told the City Press newspaper that he was planning to write to Mandla informing him that he was no longer allowed to take any responsibility on issues concerning the Madiba clan, which falls under the abaThembu.

He had given the Mandelas the Madiba chieftaincy to honour Nelson Mandela and not Mandla, he said.

Interfering in a family feud
Mtirara said the royal family took the Mandela royal house “with some degree of independence” and that it did not want to interfere in a family feud between Mandla Mandela and the other Mandelas over the location of a family gravesite.

"I do not think he [the king] is able to play any role in the Mandela family,” said Mtirara.

"He cannot even play a role in his great house … which is the core of the royal family… We are defending the kingdom. We must defend the integrity of that institution.”

Dalindyebo was not available for comment.

A report by the royal family on Dalindyebo, who served papers on Parliament in 2010 proposing that the tribe secede from South Africa, gave the king a score of two out of 10.

The report cited a 2009 conviction by the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthtatha of culpable homicide, kidnapping, arson and assault as points counting against him.

Dalindyebo's R900-million demand
Dalindyebo demanded R900-million from the government for the humiliation caused by the criminal trial in which he was sentenced to 15 years of jail time for the charges which dated back to 1995 and 1996 on his farm, Tyalara, near Mthatha and for which he is currently out on bail, pending an appeal.

Meanwhile the SABC reports that the war of words has intensified between Dalindyebo and Mandla Mandela.

Dalindyebo – who on Friday called for peace among the Mandela family and the Thembu nation – has now reportedly removed Mandla Mandela from his duties.

The king is quoted as saying both he and the Mandela family have been angered by Mandla's conduct during the recent spat over the exhumation and reburial of three of Nelson Mandela's children.

Earlier, the king accused Mandla Mnadela of trying to dethrone him. Mandla, however, denied this and asked the king to leave him alone, the SABC reported. – Sapa