The South African Prisoners’ Organisation for Human Rights (SAPOHR) is slating the push for the release of AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
The organisation pointed out that other prisoners would be within their rights to demand the same treatment.
“The logic is that when the president pardons the AbaThembu king … he must not forget other prisoners because what is good for the goose is good for the gander,” Golden Miles Bhudu, SAPOHR president, said.
Last week, the Presidency confirmed President Cyril Ramaphosa was studying Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha’s recommendation for the imprisoned king to be pardoned following calls for his release, backed by the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA.
Ramaphosa was reportedly given six days by three traditional rulers in the Eastern Cape to release the king or lose votes come the elections.
The Eastern Cape High Court in 2009 sentenced Dalindyebo to 15 years in prison on seven counts of kidnapping, three of assault, three of arson and one each of defeating the ends of justice and culpable homicide.
The Supreme Court of Appeals took off three years of his sentence in 2015 and the king started serving his term in December that year.
Bhudu said the ultimatum to the president to release the king or forfeit votes was tantamount to treason, if not high treason. He said those calling for the king’s release should be reminded that he had been found guilty.
“It’s not like he was arrested Gestapo-style, held in detention for years without trial, dragged before a kangaroo court and maliciously prosecuted,” Bhudu said.
He added that they were watching developments in the matter.
The Land Party has strongly supported calls for the release, threatening a national shutdown if it is not forthcoming.