King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has been released from prison, the royal family confirmed on Monday.
The royal family of the kingdom of Abathembu commended Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola and the department of correctional services for Dalindyebo’s release.
“The absence of his Majesty marked a period of division within the Abathembu nation and the matter eventually landed in court in Grahamstown High Court under the lead of AbaThembu Royal Adviser Adv Matthew Mpahlwa. The period also brought no peace, no stability, no unity and no social cohesion in the kingdom,” said the royal family in a statement.
Dalindyebo had been sentenced in the Eastern Cape High Court in 2009 to 15 years in jail for seven counts of kidnapping, three of assault, three for arson and one each for defeating the ends of justice and culpable homicide.
In 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal reduced his sentence by three years.
In a statement on the Reconciliation Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he had decided to grant a special remission of sentence to specific categories of sentenced offenders, probationers and parolees.
He said this was to be part of celebrating 25 years of democracy, and was in line with established international practice and the Constitution.
“Remissions of sentences are always carefully considered, taking into account interests of the public and the administration of justice. We recognise that incarceration has followed a judicial process and that sentences have been duly imposed after conviction.
“There have been previous remissions of this nature granted to coincide with important national days.
“The process will be done in various phases, starting with special categories, including women, children, the elderly, youth and inmates with disabilities.
“It must be emphasised that this remission excludes those sentenced for violent, aggressive and sexual offences, as well as people declared dangerous criminals in terms of section 286A of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977,” said the president.