King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo vows to unite AbaThembu after court victory
King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo says he will be "of good service" to the AbaThembu, after his son Prince Azenathi lost a court bid to remain as acting regent.
The prince had been acting as regent after his father was jailed, serving four years for arson, kidnapping, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.
Dalindyebo was paroled in December. Last month Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane removed Azenathi from his acting position.
On Thursday, DispatchLIVE reports, the Mthatha high court dismissed with costs Azenathi Dalindyebo's application to remain as acting AbaThembu king.
The court was asked to determine whether it ought to review Mabuyane’s decision to terminate Azenathi’s tenure as acting king and reinstate Dalindyebo.
Lawyers argued the issues before Free State acting judge president Martha Mbhele, who was brought in especially to hear the matter.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, representing Mabuyane, and advocate Dali Mpofu for Dalindyebo lashed out at Azenathi, describing his decision to challenge his removal from the throne as an assault on the king.
The prince’s legal counsel, advocate Akhona Bodlani, argued however that the process to remove Azenathi from the acting kingship position was legally and constitutionally flawed and irregular.
Bodlani claimed Azenathi was not given notice before his acting responsibilities were terminated by Mabuyane. He said Azenathi’s argument was simple: the premier had an obligation to hear his side before terminating his acting responsibilities and reinstating Buyelekhaya as king.
Ngcukaitobi and Mpofu argued that Azenathi should have sought recourse in the labour court or the office of the premier, rather than in court.
Welcoming the judgment that dismissed "the baseless application of the former acting king with costs", Dalindyebo thanked his legal team for their dedication in working "without guarantees for payment".
The king said he had walked through "dark valleys".
"This incident never happened before in the history of AbaThembu. We hope it won’t be repeated. Through it all, God was so wonderful to us. We have travelled through the dark valleys and we came back alive because of him," he said.
"Those who prayed with us, those who went all out to join us, marches to release the king, are much appreciated. We are still mourning the passing away of aunt Zindzi Mandela, she was going to be so excited over this victory in her name. We will celebrate and send praises to God."
Looking ahead, Dalindyebo said he had a clear purpose: "We have a task ahead of us to unite the kingdom of the AbaThembu nation, to be of good service to the people."