South Africa’s King, nephew of Nelson Mandela enjailed

South African King and nephew of Nelson Mandela sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo king of Thembu ethnic group in South Afrtica and Nelson Mandela/s nephew

South African King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of Thermu ethnic group has been sentenced to 12-year of prison after struggling not to be imprisoned.

The king is facing arson, kidnap and assault of his subjects, a conflict that lasted for about two decades.

Moreover, Dalindyebo is accused of kidnapping a woman and her children and burning down their home afterwards as well as for beating up four young men leaving one of them dead.

Despite the king’s attempts to stay out of jail, he reported to the authorities in the city of Mthatha after a judge did not accept his appeal to extend his bail.

"We confirm that King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo handed himself to the head of Mthatha Correctional Centre," the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

Dalindyebo insisted on his innocence, claiming he disciplined his subjects under customary law.

However, the Supreme Court of Appeal has decided to sentence him in October.

"His behaviour was all the more deplorable because the victims of his reign of terror were the vulnerable rural poor, who were dependent upon him. Our constitution does not countenance such behavior,” the court announced.

"We are a constitutional democracy in which everyone is accountable and where the most vulnerable are entitled to protection."

According to The Supreme Court, the king "ruled with fear and trepidation."

The king came in power of the Thembu in 1989. His son Prince Azenethi Dalindyebo might be the next monarch of the group.

Dalindyebo became king of the Thembu, a Xhosa ethnic group that boasted Mandela as its most prominent clan member, in 1989.

TRTWorld and agencies