Acting AbaThembu king Azenathi Dalindyebo and King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo were “positively” linked as father and son by an old method, where elders noticed similarities in the way they looked, laughed and talked.
That was the statement made this week by a faction of the AbaThembu Royal Family aligned to the acting king.
This comes after Buyelekhaya brought the divided kingdom back into the spotlight last week after news broke that he had denied fathering Azenathi and demanded a paternity test.
Leader of AmaDlomo – one of the great houses in the AbaThembu Kingdom – Inkosi Thandisizwe Mtirara, however, said this old African way of proving paternity was effective. He slammed Buyelekhaya for “continuously embarrassing our nation”.
“He is wasting his money because he knows it himself that Zanelizwe [Azenathi’s royal name] is his son. What we, as AmaDlomo, are saying is that he should subject all of his six children to a paternity test to save us further embarrassment. We are saying this so that he doesn’t come back again and expect us to entertain this matter.”
Mtirara said: “He is the one who brought the child to us and claimed he was his. The elders were also convinced after studying the child and noticed that he laughed, talked and walked like his father. Even the appearance of his toes was similar to his father. But let him do his DNA if it will make him sleep well at night.
“He should stop listening to strangers. We hear that he heard village gossip that the acting king may have been fathered by another man. We all know, as the royal family, that is not true,” said Mtirara.
Buyelekhaya’s spokesperson Inkosi Mthunzi Ngonyama said: “The king is sparing none of his children in the DNA test. He wanted to start with the eldest, who is Azenathi. The king raised this in January. It’s not the AmaDlomos’ idea. Azenathi shows resistance. If he was confident, he would just agree with the test. The parent has a right to do a paternity test. It’s not a national matter.”
Last week, Buyelekhaya shocked the royal house after messages he sent to his ex-wife, Buyiswa Majiki, and her son, Azenathi, demanding a date for a paternity test, were leaked to the public.
Buyelekhaya has clashed with Azenathi ever since he was released from prison in December 2019 after having served four years of a 12-year sentence.
He was released on a special remission sentence by President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of a Reconciliation Day decision to grant special remission to certain categories of offenders, which included Buyelekhaya, among others.
On 13 March, after months of failing to convince his son to move out of the palace, the king broke his parole conditions by leaving his Nkululekweni home in Mthatha to reportedly chase Azenathi and his young family out of the palace.
The incident took place on Friday, 13 March, at 03:00, according to a statement by police at the time.
He was arrested and released on a warning, and will appear in court on 1 June for that case.
Azenathi obtained a protection order against his father.
The father and son battle dates back to 2016, when Azenathi went against his incarcerated father’s advice and ascended to the throne after obtaining the support of other great houses and the government.
The king wanted his wife to act on his behalf and had written a series of letters from prison advising the then-University of Free State student Azenathi to focus on his studies instead.
He had always maintained in his letters that, as a father, he cannot be subjected to his son.
Buyelekhaya was sent to jail in 2015, after a long appeals process ended, for arson, kidnapping, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice. This after he was found guilty of terrorising some of his subjects in the 1990s.