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Land Party threatens national shutdown if King Dalindyebo not released from jail

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is currently serving a 12-year sentence in prison for arson, assault, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo. Picture: xhosaculture.com

CAPE TOWN - Following reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa will consider recommendations to pardon AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, the Land Party says the talks could be a political stunt.

Dalindyebo is currently serving a 12-year sentence in prison for arson, assault, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

Last week, the Justice Minister submitted recommendations to the president dealing with requests for Dalindyebo's release.

The Land Party has been a strong supporter of releasing the king, with party president Gcobani Ndzongana saying if he is not freed, his members will mobilise.

"The Land Party is mobilising all the other nations and we're busy talking to other kings, and I don't want to name them, but we are busy with other provinces because we want to make sure that if the king is not released, we'll call for a national shut down."

At the same time, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) says that it will watch the situation closely.

Contralesa was the first body to request a pardon for Dalindyebo.

The body's president Kgosi Mokoena: "We agree in terms of our culture that if a king or traditional leader has done anything wrong, there is a way of punishing him but not through what we see now."