AbaThembu battle for kingship escalates as king picks heir

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A senior AbaThembu traditional leader has insinuated that the reason king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was being forcefully replaced by his son, acting king Azenathi, was because he had choosen his other son, Prince Sinethemba, as his heir.

In an exclusive interview, with Dalindyebo’s aide Nkosi Mfundo Mtirara told City Press that on June 12 the king informed senior AbaThembu traditional leaders that he had picked Sinethemba as his heir and not Azenathi, his eldest son.
Dalindyebo and Azenathi have been at each other’s neck since January this year when the acting king refused to handover the throne as demanded by the king when he was released from prison on parole in December.
Dalindyebo has served four years of a 12-year jail sentence after he was convicted in 2015 of assaulting his subjects with the intent to inflect grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice and arson.
On Friday, the battle lines between the two royals was clearly drawn when the AmaDlomo Royal Family, which is in favour of Azenathi, agreed to withdraw the certificate of recognition from Dalindyebo and instead appointed his eldest son as the permanent AbaThembu king.
Mtirara said the AmaDlomo Royal Family and Azenathi were dethroning Dalindyebo because he had picked his younger son to be his heir, disowning the acting king after demanding a DNA test.

We have not seen Azenathi efforts to prove that he is truly the son of king Buyelekhaya. There is only one way to find out that he his son, it is through a DNA test

Nkosi Mfundo Mtirara

“Azenathi is not the heir to the king. The AmaDlomo know that and the king has already choosen the heir. They are creating a conflict between the king’s children that’s what they are doing now. The king choose Sinethemba as his heir but we are awaiting traditional processes to confirm that,” said Mtirara.
He said the fact that Azenathi was the king’s first son, whose paternity he is now doubting, does not mean that he was automatically going to be the heir and future king.
“Also, the king has declared that Azenathi is not his son. We have not seen any efforts from Azenathi to prove that he is indeed the son of king Buyelekhaya. There is only one way to find out that he his son, it is through a DNA test,” Mtirara said.
While the meeting to appoint Azenathi was ongoing on Friday, Dalindyebo was outside the Bumbane Great Place. He could not disturb the proceedings because of a May 13 protection order granted to Azenathi which forbids him from setting foot at his royal palace.
The order was granted after the king marched into the Great Place and attacked Azenathi and his wife.
Inside the place, Azenathi was going about his business. He did not want to comment about the resolution to withdraw the certificate of recognition from his father and the move to appoint him as permanent king.

In response to the protection order against him, on May 29 Dalindyebo got an eviction order instructing Azenathi, his wife Usikhumbulile and his mother Judge Buyiswa “NoCollege” Majiki to leave the Bumbane Great Place.
The king also wanted his younger brother, Prince Siganeko and his uncle, AmaDlomo royal family chairperson, Nkosi Thandisizwe Mtirara, evicted too.
But irregardless of the eviction order, the acting king and all those who were in favour to have been evicted with him, were still at the Great Place on June 12 and they played an important role in the meeting that decided to replace Dalindyebo with Azenathi.
Babalo Papu, the king’s spokesperson, said Dalindyebo went to the place on Friday June 12 hoping that the police would implement the eviction order which was made by the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court on May 29. He was suprised when this did not happen.
The king had not gone there to attend the meeting that was meant to dethrone him, he said.
Papu said the king was planning to file a complaint against the police who have failed to enforce the eviction order against Azenathi at the Great Place but were quick to implement the protection order that prevents him from going into Bumbane.