King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has renewed his claim on the city of Mthatha by creating traditional leadership areas of jurisdiction in places where they did not exist before.
The controversial king, who has been in the news recently for outbursts aimed at former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mvezo chief Mandla Mandela, and President Jacob Zuma, has written a letter to government to recognise the traditional leaders.
Dalindyebo has already installed seven traditional leaders, which include a chief and six headmen, most of whom are known to be his close sympathisers.
His new traditional authorities consist of all the areas surrounding Mthatha and its central business district (CBD).
The only new chieftainship is that of Jongisizwe Ndzambule, who is cited as the chief of the Ngxule Traditional Authority, based in Mthatha. He oversees the six administrative areas and six headmen report to him.
The six administrative areas are: Fort Gale, Mandela Park, Chris Hani, Slovo Park, Induli and Mthatha North.
Ndzambule, together with three of the newly installed headmen, were seen at the king’s side when Dalindyebo handed over a petition at the Union Buildings this week.
Ndzambule said the king had a prerogative to create traditional-leadership positions and did not have to explain himself for doing that.
“I am a chief now. I am honoured to serve under this King Zwelibanzi and to defend him,” Ndzambule said, adding that on July 25 all the new traditional leaders will receive their certificates of recognition from the king.
In a letter dated May 20, which City Press is in possession of, Dalindyebo wrote: “To all government departments, municipalities, (the) religious community, (the) business community and the dwelling residence of the above administrative areas and all respectable stakeholders as well as all surrounding traditional authorities, (the) abaThembu Royal Kingdom wishes to cordially inform the government and the above interested parties of the traditional administrative authority that has been installed from this (point) onwards. The above arrangement is implementable with immediate effect.”
Dalindyebo’s wife, Nokwanda Dalindyebo, confirmed that the king had written the letter.
“Yes, I can confirm the authenticity of the letter. It was written by the king. In fact, I was there when it was drafted,” she said.
The king was not available for comment as he was reportedly not feeling well.
His head of security, Ronnie Matshaya, said: “The king is not feeling well, he is resting.
He’s come back from Gauteng and was not feeling well, so he cannot be disturbed.”
Mlibo Qoboshiyane, the MEC for local government and traditional affairs, was not immediately available for comment.
His spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, confirmed that the department had received the letter from Dalindyebo but that it was not being taken seriously.
“First of all, the process of creating a traditional authority was flouted. There is a framework in place. One does not wake up one morning and decide to create a traditional authority,” said Sicwetsha.
But Thembu chief Mfundo Mtirara, who is close to Dalindyebo, said the king had a right to lay claims on the land because it belonged to the abaThembu.
“On July 25 we will endorse the new traditional leaderships at Bumbane Great Place, where the king will officially introduce them to the nation,” said Mtirara.
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