The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape says there is nothing wrong with AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo deciding to attend an ANC birthday rally next month.
The party said the controversial king was free to attend any party’s gathering, as long as he kept his DA membership.
DA provincial leader Athol Trollip responded to reports that Dalindyebo had last week accepted an invite from President Jacob Zuma to attend the ANC’s traditional January 8 statement rally to be held in Cape Town on January 10. Dalindyebo, who had been at loggerheads with the president over various issues, including plans to remove him as the traditional head of AbaThembu, last week visited Zuma to broker peace.
He led an entourage of more than 30 people to Zuma’s traditional home, Nkandla, on Christmas Eve. The team was joined by ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The Daily Dispatch on Monday reported that Dalindyebo had visited Nkandla to apologise to the president and his family for public utterances he had made concerning Zuma.
Dalindyebo – a former ANC activist and uMkhonto weSizwe operative – joined the DA in July last year. On numerous occasions Dalindyebo had lashed out at Zuma, describing him in public as a “liar”, “thief”, “womaniser” and a “Zulu boy”.
Last week however he changed his tune and told Zuma that he (Dalindyebo) was the “prodigal son who had come to apologise to a lovely father”.
In responding, Zuma said: “I love the king as he is not afraid of anyone but speaks his mind”. Trollip said Dalindyebo was within his rights to accept the invite. “The king can smoke a peace pipe with anyone he wants to do that with and the DA will not have any problems with that.
“Even him attending an ANC event is not an issue with us because you will remember that he had attended events organised by the Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement before and in both those he had proclaimed his commitment to the DA,” said Trollip.
He added that Dalindyebo was not only the king for DA members “but a king for all the AbaThembu nation, irrespective of their political affiliation”.