The ANC in the Eastern Cape has urged subjects of the abaThembu Kingdom in Mvezo to vote today, amid threats of a boycott by subjects of jailed king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
In a statement apparently written by Mthembu royal Zwelonke Sicgawu, he threatened that people would withhold their votes should Dalindyebo not be released on a presidential pardon.
Dalindyebo was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2015 for charges relating to assault, kidnapping, and arson, in what appeared to be a violent banishing incident.
The kingdom has been rocked by infighting and instability in the royal house since Dalindyebo was jailed and his son Avenathi took over as acting king, after heated debates over who was the rightful heir.
Recently Justice Minister Michael Masuta recommended the king receive a presidential pardon.
ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane said he was not aware that people were threatening not to vote, but said the matter of the king was being resolved and he would be set free.
“The president [Cyril Ramaphosa] has met with the acting king to explain the process and the Abathembu, as far as we are concerned, are comfortable with it. We are not going to break the law and we are not going to give the president an ultimatum. The issue of the king has been attended to, so whoever says they are not going to vote will be misguided.
“Those people are going to regret that decision when the king is out,” he said.