Complaint filed against judge who criticised SA king

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo

Johannesburg — The Society for the Protection of our Constitution (SPC) has filed a complaint against a Supreme Court of Appeal judge for calling jailed AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo a “tyrannical and despotic king”.

SPC secretary Muhammed Vawda accused Judge Mahomed Navsa of “attacking” or being complicit in attacking the king “more than 20 times in 83 paragraphs” in an SCA judgment that sent the king to prison.

The complaint was laid with the Judicial Service Commission.

The SPC said Navsa’s conduct in court brought the administration of justice into disrepute and made many South Africans lose faith in the justice system.

“Allowing judges to attack tribal leaders in court is against a judge’s ethics but also places a wedge between tribal constituency and others.”

He wanted to know what sanctions Vawda would face. The SPC took issue with the judgment which referred to Dalindyebo as a “tyrannical and despotic king” who “ruled by fear and intimidation”.

The judgment was handed down in October, after Dalindyebo appealed his conviction on charges of culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson, and kidnapping. He committed the crimes against his subjects in 1995 and 1996. The SCA overturned his culpable homicide conviction, but upheld his other convictions and reduced his 15-year jail sentence to 12 years.

Dalindyebo reported to jail in Mthatha at the end of December after exhausting all legal avenues to avoid doing so. Last week, he was admitted to hospital after a hunger strike in protest against his incarceration. — AFP

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