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Internal divisions in AbaThembu kingdom raises concerns

The royal family is meeting to discuss their successor, amid contestation by various branches of the family.

The AbaThembu King, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo outside Mthatha High Court. Picture: Yanga Pampatha Soji/iWitness

CAPE TOWN - As the succession debate rages on in the AbaThembu kingdom, the Eastern Cape Traditional Affairs Department has expressed concerns at the internal squabbles within the royal family.

Former king, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who's serving a 12-year jail term for a string of crimes, has been stripped of his title.

The royal family is meeting to discuss his successor, amid contestation by various branches of the family about who should take over the throne.

The department's Mamnkeli Ngam said, "MEC Fikile Xasa has expressed his concern that there's lack of peace within the royal family itself, which will sort of create more divisions."

Dalindyebo was found guilty arson, assault and kidnapping relating to the punishment of his subjects for alleged crimes in the early 1990s.