The Ngangelizwe royal family of the abaThembu nation says King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s first task after his release from prison is to rebuild the nation and restore its dignity.
Dalindyebo was released on Monday morning.
His release comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Reconciliation Day that some prisoners would receive special reduced sentences as the country celebrates 25 years of democracy. The remission meant 12 months of Dalindyebo’s sentence was reduced.
He was imprisoned from December 2015 after the Eastern Cape High Court sentenced him to 15 years in jail for seven counts of kidnapping, three of assault, three of arson, one of culpable homicide and one of defeating the ends of justice.
The family also commended Justice Minister Ronald Lamola for Dalindyebo’s release.
Chairperson of the Ngangelizwe royal family, Nkosi Thanduxolo Mtirara, said in a statement on Monday: “The mountains of Mantentente in Bumbane, Mthatha, will once again echo a welcoming message to the House of Jongihlanga and the descendants of the abaThembu nation.”
Dalindyebo’s absence led to a period of “no peace, no stability, no unity and no social cohesion” for the abaThembu nation, according to Mtirara.
“It saw the children of Jongihlanga exile their home in Bumbane. Queen Nokwanda, wife of King Zwelibanzi was humiliated and ignored by many. She had been the preferred candidate by the king to act in his absence. Now her dignity will be restored,” he said.
He also expressed concern over certain appointments in Dalindyebo’s absence.
“In the absence of Zwelibanzi, other people linked the functioning of the abaThembu nation to bread and butter issues and irregular acting appointments were made to make matters worse and [bring] embarrassment to the nation.
“The acting king appointed [former] Premier [Phumulo] Masualle on the 13th February 2017, was a full-time student at the University of the Free State and since the academic term commenced, he has been absent from the jurisdiction of abaThembu himself and therefore his appointment did not serve any purpose at all to the abaThembu nation,” Mtirara added.
Dalindyebo’s spokesperson, Mthunzi Ngonyama, told News24 earlier that the king appreciated efforts all traditional and religious leaders put in for his release.
“He is now with his family. He appreciates everyone who has played a role on his release, by way of sending petitions calling for [his] release, holding prayers and marching to government leaders’ offices. As for now, he is spending time with his family. He would love to be given space. When the time is right, he will himself pronounce.
“The issue of a presidential pardon will be discussed at some stage,” he said.