Dalindyebo not a co-operative king - Abathembu

Johannesburg - AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is not a co-operative leader, the royal family said on Thursday.

Numerous meetings had been called with the king since 2003 to address pertinent matters affecting the AbaThembu nation, but their efforts were met with little to no co-operation from the man, the family said in a statement.

"We have sent emissaries consisting of elders of the family in an attempt to convince the king to change his behaviour not befitting a king and avoid transgressing on our customs and bringing the nation into disrepute."

By 2012 the royal family had exhausted all internal efforts and took the decision to initiate the process of removing Dalindyebo.

Some of the reasons for removing him were because he was found guilty of arson in 1996 and sentenced to five years in prison.

According to the family, he was also sentenced to 15 years in prison without an option of a fine for various crimes including murder, arson, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

The king had allegedly assaulted his parents King Jonguhlanga Sabata Dalindyebo and Queen NoMoscow Dalindyebo.

Other reasons for his removal were that Dalindyebo allegedly hurled insults at former president Nelson Mandela, smoked dagga publicly and in the presence of family elders, and fathered children with other family members - including his brother's 15-year-old daughter, the family said.

Dalindyebo had also allegedly failed to attend the funerals of his mother, his wife Queen Nolwazi and his brother Bandile Dalindyebo.

"When we advised him to consider the wife of the nation, he arrogantly told the royal family 'you pick her, you poke her'".

The family said turning to President Jacob Zuma was the last resort.

According to the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 2003 Act, the royal family can remove a king on the following grounds:

- conviction of an offence with a sentence of imprisonment for more than 12 months without an option of a fine;

- physical incapacity or mental infirmity which, based on acceptable medical evidence, makes it impossible for the king or queen to function as such;

- wrongful appointment or recognition; or

- a transgression of a customary rule or principle that warrants removal.

Last Friday, Zuma asked Dalindyebo to make representations about why the recognition certificate as king should not be withdrawn, in line with the request from royal family.

"The Royal Family wrote to the President on 1 October 2012 and 4 February 2013 requesting him to implement their decision taken on 29 September 2012," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said at the time.

"The president has requested written representation from the king, within 30 days of receipt of the letter, which has been delivered to the king."