Cape Town – A mixture of chronic ulcers, depression and loss of appetite landed AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo in hospital, the royal family said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama said the king was still receiving treatment at the St Dominic’s Hospital in East London.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ngonyama said Dalindyebo was grateful for the support and prayers he had received during this “trying time”.
“You’re encouraged to continue with the struggle to protect our heritage, our norms, values and identity as Africans, our indigenous legal system in administering justice in our traditional communities to ensure peace and order,” he said.
On the king’s incarceration, Ngonyama said the judicial system had turned a blind eye to the “positive motive” behind the king’s actions, for which he was jailed.
The 12-year sentence failed to take into account that his actions were not about revenge but about bringing order to the community, the royal advisor said.
Dalindyebo was sentenced to 12 years in prison for crimes related to the treatment of some of his subjects in 1995 and 1996.
“His Majesty administered justice as requested by the traditional community who brought cases of theft, murder, rape [as well as] defiance of community resolution on reserved grazing land. He never had a personal vendetta against anyone among those accused, he never had any personal relationship that ended up in an outrage, he only acted as expected by the community that he led by virtue of being a King,” said Ngonyama.
Calling the sentence a “miscarriage of justice”, Ngonyama said Dalindyebo was targeted because he was a king.
“The context in which such incidents took place should have been considered if the [judicial system had the interests] of balanced justice at heart. The case was conveniently built around one man just by virtue of being a King.”
Ngonyama said the “miscarriage of justice” and the “crucifixion of the AbaThembu King” had led to deep divisions in the family, especially those who had personal vendettas against him. — AP