Contralesa defends call for chief to serve Dalindyebo's sentence

The king faces a 12-year term for kidnapping, assault, defeating the ends of justice & arson in the 90s.

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo. Picture:

CAPE TOWN - The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has defended its call for a senior chief to serve AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo's 12 year prison sentence because the 'African context' allows it.

The Xhosa royal is taking his case to the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against his 2009 conviction on charges of kidnapping, assault, defeating the ends of justice and arson.

His crimes included burning down the homes of three of his subjects, for allegedly violating tribal rules.

Contralesa's General Secretary Xolile Ndevu said, "King Dalindyebo is the king of AbaThembu, therefore AbaThembu can appoint a person on his behalf, so that person can also go to jail on his behalf. Because earlier on when a king or the chief fell off from a horse, a subject was supposed to fall instead of the king falling."

The Democratic Alliance has terminated Dalindyebo's party membership.