Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo breaks hunger strike

Dalindyebo was hospitalised after he stopped eating on Wednesday in protest against his prison sentence.

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo in 2013. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Former AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is eating again after embarking on a hunger strike.

Dalindyebo had to be hospitalised after he stopped eating on Wednesday in protest against his 12-year prison sentence.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) visited the controversial monarch at the Fort Glamorgan prison in East London where they found out he'd been admitted to hospital.

The former king exhausted all legal avenues following his conviction on a range of crimes he committed under customary law in the 1990s.

He finally handed himself over to authorities on 30 December.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says Dalindyebo is doing well.

"After explaining our protest, he then said after our visit, he will start eating and as of yesterday he broke the hunger strike."

The Eastern Cape Traditional Affairs Department confirmed Dalindyebo has been stripped of his title.

He has spent five nights in an Eastern Cape jail.

The department's Mamnkeli Ngam said, "Immediately after the king was incarcerated, he failed to be the king of abaThembu and, as a result, the Presidency issued a retraction of a certificate of his kingship."

Meanwhile, the abuThembu Royal Council appealed for calm in the abuThembu nation amid succession contests in the Eastern Cape.