Buyelekhaya sentenced to 15 years
Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, the paramount chief, or king, of the Thembu tribe, has been sentenced to an effective 15 years imprisonment.
- Five years for each of the three counts of arson;
- One year for all seven counts of kidnapping;
- One year for defeating the ends of justice;
- Five years for each of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm; and
- 10 years for culpable homicide.
It's really suspicious that he was convicted for assaulting the deceased's 3 associates, but somehow wasn't involved in the actual assault that resulted in Saziso Wofa's untimely death. Also the media indicates that all 4 are now publicly suspected rapists, yet there's no case or evidence against them. Seriously WTF?
He was granted leave to appeal the sentencing, and the R6,000 bail has been extended pending the outcome which is expected next week Thursday (17 Dec.)
There is some heavy irony here as the "Comrade King" has been a loyal cadre carrying out the NDR and faithfully undermining the traditional patriarchy in the Transkei in the most callous manner.
Will he be the first to commit "class suicide" by abdication, and thus fall victim to (and simultaneously champion) the NDR "cause?"
Welcome to the paradox that is Mzansi.
He deserves his just deserts, no doubt, but I regret the implications for the tribal order. My feeling has always been that it is totally unfair to undermine the current status quo when the people have got no education, no jobs and, effectively, no land rights. The NDR is pitting revolutionary fervor against millenia of ingrained patriarchalism, and so far the outcomes we've witnessed have been devastating and tragic.
1] Historically, Paramount Chief is a title created during the Colonial era by Queen Victoria as a substitute for the word "king" in order to maintain that only the British monarch held that title.
See link for the story from the Dispatch. (pasted below)
ABATHEMBU King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s iron-fist rule came back to haunt him yesterday when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison following a marathon trial in Mthatha.
Dalindyebo’s high court sentence follows his conviction in October for serious crimes ranging from kidnapping and assault to arson, culpable homicide and defeating the ends of justice.
There was a clear split in the courtroom yesterday, with the 44-year-old king’s supporters on one side and families and victims on the other.
Among those who supported Dalindyebo were Mvezo Chief Nkosi Mandla Mandela, King Sabata Dalindyebo mayor Siyakholwa Mlamli and Engcobo Municipality’s Lamla Jiyose.
Before the court sat, Dalindyebo joked and chatted to family and friends. His jovial mood changed as Judge Sytze Alkema handed down sentence.
The judge described Dalindyebo’s assault on his victims as “crude, humiliating and degrading”.
He said Dalindyebo had no legal rights to punish his subjects and that, as a traditional leader, he was supposed to uphold the rule of law.
Alkema ruled that Dalindyebo would serve:
# Five years for each of the three counts of arson;
# One year for all seven counts of kidnapping;
# One year for defeating the ends of justice;
# Five years for each of three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm;
# 10 years for culpable homicide.
Alkema said some of the counts would run concurrently and that the AbaThembu king would serve an effective 15 years’ imprisonment.
Dalindyebo, nephew of former President Nelson Mandela, slowly sank back into his seat after sentence had been handed down.
His lawyer, Zem Gqabi, immediately said his client intended appealing against the sentence.
Alkema granted the leave to appeal and said he would make judgment on the matter next Thursday. Dalindyebo’s R6 000 bail was extended pending the outcome.
Responding to the change in conviction from murder to culpable homicide, Alkema said: “You escaped conviction of murder by a hair’s breadth.”
Dalindyebo was said to have not shown any remorse during the trial, fully believing he had done nothing wrong.
Alkema said: “I believe that all people are equal and are entitled to basic and fundamental rights and that all persons are subjected to the rule of law. No one, including traditional leaders and even judges, are above the law.”
A group of friends and family gathered around Dalindyebo outside the court afterwards. “Do not give up hope,” he told them. “ This is not the end of the road. In fact, this is the beginning.” Then he wished them a merry Christmas.
Stokwana Sonteya, whose house was burnt down by Dalindyebo, said he was happy with the outcome. “But I am equally unhappy because he has destroyed my life for good and I will never get back what he took away from me – my home and my dignity.”
Koto Wofa, whose son Saziso died after being assaulted, felt the judge had been lenient. “He deserved many more years ... but it ... will never bring back my son to life.” — By LUBABALO NGCUKANA, Mthatha Bureau. lubabalondispatch [dot] co [dot] za