Azapo campaign to free king Dalindyebo

Jailed abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
Jailed abaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
Image: FILE

The Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) has launched their own bid to urge South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to pardon the jailed AbaThembu King.

King Buleyekhaya Dalindyebo, who is now in his third year of a 12-year sentence, was jailed for crimes committed in the 1970s.

Azapo secretary Chris Swepu said the party was conducting the campaign to afford the president the opportunity of demonstrating that he is genuine about his presidency being the dawn of a new era.

The party is scheduled to consult with the AbaThembu King on June 30.

Swepu said arrangements for the visit were at an advanced stage and during this visit they would inform the king of their intention to ask for a pardon.

We call on his the king’s release because he is not a common criminal but is being punished for implementing and dispensing justice in the traditional way.

“Secondly, we will write to President Ramaphosa requesting that he pardons the king. We will then engage in protracted picketing at all major places to create awareness in our communities about the need for the king to be released.

Azapo has maintained that the Constitution of South Africa needed to be overhauled, saying that the Constitution made Africans and their values second-class citizens and that it was drafted based on imposed principles.

This argument was partly why the party did not partake in the Codesa negotiations in the ’90s.

“We call on his [the king’s] release because he is not a common criminal but is being punished for implementing and dispensing justice in the traditional way,” said Swepu.

In 2009, the Eastern Cape High Court sentenced the king to an effective 15 years for seven counts of kidnapping, three of assault, three of arson, and for defeating the ends of justice and culpable homicide.

The trial, which dragged on for five years, saw the king change lawyers 11 times, and at least 34 postponements.

Eventually, in 2015, he succeeded in getting three years shaved off his sentence.

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