/ 10 July 2013

Zuma flushes ministers like condoms, says AbaThembu king

'Unfortunately, the president has a habit of not condomising. We don't like people with that kind of attitude,' AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo said. (Catalina Farias, M&G)

"He flushes people like condoms. Like yesterday [Tuesday's Cabinet reshuffle]. He thinks he can flush kings, he flushes his ministers like condoms," the AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo told reporters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, the president has a habit of not condomising. We don't like people with that kind of attitude. His behaviour is a shower mentality," he said, referring to Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

He was speaking after handing a petition to officials of Zuma's office.

"The petition is a response to the president's orders to [former co-operative governance] minister Richard Baloyi, ordering him to flush me out of kingship indiscriminately," he said.

"AbaThembu have had a meeting and formulated a response. We are simply telling him to go back to Nkandla and leave AbaThembu alone."

He said Zuma dealt mercilessly with perceived opponents.

Asked why his relationship with Zuma had deteriorated, Dalindyebo said he had never had a cosy association with the president.

"We've never really had good relations, but they were not as bad as they are [now]. He has been to my place I don't know for how many times.

"He tried to arrange a meeting through Ms Winnie Madikizela-Mandela [who] refused because I do not want to meet him."

'We have dismissed' Mandla
Meanwhile, the king said that formalities will soon be finalised to oust Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla as chief of Mvezo.

"We are going to deal with that [Mandla's dismissal] very soon after we have dealt with Madiba's health. At the moment, we have dismissed Mandla from royalty. We have dismissed him as a chief. We will be doing the official processes," he said.

"There are procedures to follow in the traditional spheres. The royal family, the Mandela family will forward to me their recommendation to take him out. I will make a de-recognition approval."

The king confirmed that he will join the opposition Democratic Alliance.

"That is now confirmed, I will be joining the DA."

Dalindyebo said he expected a "practical response" from Zuma to his petition.

'Following due customary' processes
"He must tell AbaThembu about his intentions and AbaThembu need to direct him to the rightful place. I cannot be ordered to his office. He must come [to] my office," he said.

"I am king unto him [Zuma], he's just a Zulu boy."

Meanwhile, an Eastern Cape official on Wednesday said that Traditional leaders are not deposed and inaugurated without due customary and legal processes.

Recent pronouncements about the removals of Mandla Mandela as chief of Mvezo by Dalindyebo were made on wrong platforms and were in contravention of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, traditional affairs department spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said.

"The spirit of this act is to bring dignity to the institutions of traditional leadership by making sure that traditional leaders are not deposed and inaugurated without following due customary and legal processes."

He was referring to king Dalindyebo's call for Mandla to be deposed as chief of Mvezo.

Some members of the AbaThembu royal family reportedly also wanted Dalindyebo deposed.

King might be removed from office
"The continued insults, accusations and counter accusations are not befitting the stature and composure expected of traditional leaders," said Sicwetsha.

"From the relevant sections of this Act, it is clear that removing inkosi [chiefs] by public pronouncements or in media platforms, defies customary traditions and this must cease, as it denigrates the character and image of traditional leadership."

He appealed to the AbaThembu to resolve their issues amicably by allowing traditional leadership and family structures to mediate.

He said a king or queen might be removed from office if convicted of an offence with a sentence of imprisonment for more than 12 months without an option of a fine, physical incapacity or mental infirmity which, based on acceptable medical evidence, made it impossible for the king or queen to function as such.

Whenever the royal family decided to remove a king or queen, the family had to inform the president, the premier of the province concerned and the minister about the decision.

The president was required by the Act to withdraw the certificate of recognition, publish a notice in the government gazette, inform the royal family concerned and the king or queen concerned. – Sapa