Azenathi urges AbaThembu to vote

PREMIUM

The AbaThembu kingdom on Friday distanced themselves from a few Eastern Cape monarchs who threatened to get their subjects not to vote for the ANC unless jailed king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was released before the elections.
The Dalindyebo royal council called on people to go to the polls in their numbers and vote for their preferred political parties.
This came after acting AbaThembu king Azenathi Dalindyebo met President Cyril Ramaphosa behind closed doors last week. After the meeting, both leaders called for patience as Ramaphosa was still considering whether to pardon the jailed monarch.
Addressing the media on Friday at the Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha, AbaThembu royal council chair Thandisizwe Mtirara and spokesperson Dumisani Mgudlwa said Azenathi, his council and the royal family distanced themselves from the Kings’ Forum ultimatum for the president to release Dalindyebo, or they would mobilise their subjects against voting for the ANC.
“While we respect all our kings, we feel undermined and disrespected. We cannot imagine that our king’s colleagues would find it fit to go around and speak on an issue affecting another kingship without taking their cue from the acting king,” said Mtirara.
Prince Azenathi was not part of the April 15 meeting. Its conveners, Prince Mlamli Ndamase and AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu, said he had not been invited because they did not want to be seen to be taking sides in the factions of the feuding AbaThembu royal family.
However, Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama, who is a Thembu royal, attended it.Ngonyama said the jailed king had instructed him to attend.Mtirara said he had tried to call both Ngonyama and Sigcawu to meet with the acting king, but they did not avail themselves.Last week the Dispatch reported that five of Dalindyebo’s seven victims had forgiven him and wanted him released but they wanted Dalindyebo, who has served a third of his 12-year sentence for arson and assault, to pay each of them R400,000.Azapo is set to protest in Pretoria on Monday as part of the Free King Dalindyebo campaign. The acting king’s council has distanced themselves from it...

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