AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo with his son, Azenathi. Photo: Siphelele Nketo
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo says he would fear for his life if he was to live under the same roof as his adversary son, Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo.
This comes after the king was granted a court order allowing him to return to the Bumbane Great Place, the royal residence near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. Dalindyebo was barred from the palace after he allegedly attacked Azenathi last year.
Following the incident, Azenathi applied for a protection order, which prevented his father from entering the Bumbane Great Place, which Azenathi has occupied since he was acting king while Dalindyebo was serving a 12-year prison sentence.
He cannot have those people there because he sees them as a threat to his life.
Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama
However, Dalindyebo last week successfully challenged the order and won – which paved the way for the king to return to his ancestral home for the first time since 2015.
But with Azenathi staying put, Dalindyebo now wants his son to leave before he can move in.
“For the king to go there and have a peaceful night’s sleep, he cannot have those people there because he sees them as a threat to his life. They must first move out,” said Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama, Dalindyebo’s spokesperson. He added that the king was planning to approach the court for a final order, which would include the removal of Azenathi from the palace by police.
Ngonyama said Azenathi refused to vacate the palace because he claimed he also had a right to live there as it was also his home.
He said since the king had a title deed for the property, he had “absolute rights to occupy it” and his son should leave and make space for the king.
The guy [Azenathi] attempted to use his stay at Bumbane to turn the chiefs against the king with the intention of dethroning him.
Dalindyebo wanted nothing to do with Azenathi, because he conspired with the king’s enemies in an attempt to dethrone him, Ngonyama said.
There is no love lost between the two monarchs since the battle for the soul of the abaThembu nation began. Dalindyebo was so incensed by his son that he disowned him and demanded a DNA test to prove that he was his biological child.
“The king does not feel safe living under the same roof as his son and there are valid reasons for that. The guy [Azenathi] attempted to use his stay at Bumbane to turn the chiefs against the king with the intention of dethroning him. [Azenathi] went to court to argue that the king could not occupy his position because he was on parole and was therefore unfit to hold office, but he was defeated.”
Nkosi Thandisizwe Mtirara, chairperson of the amaDlomo royal family, which is sympathetic to Azenathi, said they did not have a problem with Dalindyebo being allowed back to his home.
Mtirara, however, confirmed that Azenathi would not leave the palace because there were enough rooms to accommodate the father and son. He said the young prince also called Bumbane home.
No. We don’t have a problem with King Dalindyebo returning to the palace.
Nkosi Thandisizwe Mtirara
“First of all, the court order does not say Azenathi should vacate the Bumbane Great Place. The interim interdict that prevented the king from entering the Great Place was set aside and removed from the court roll. And the court decision meant that [King Dalindyebo] is allowed to go back to Bumbane,” said Mtirara.
“No. We don’t have a problem with King Dalindyebo returning to the palace. Even his son does not have a problem. We are talking about father and son who are both eligible to occupy the property because it is their home,” he added.
On the king fearing for his life if he moved into the palace while the son was still there, Mtirara said Azenathi could never hurt his father.
“The king should not worry about his son. I think it is disingenuous for him to say he fears for his life because of his son. After all, he is the one who went and attacked his son in the middle of the night last year and he [Azenathi] did not even retaliate.
“His son respects him as his father and would never hurt him. He just wants peace and harmony within the nation. What we are against is the king’s wanting to remove his son from his home,” said Mtirara, speaking on behalf of the former acting king.
How do you stay with somebody who wants to destroy your future?
Ngonyama said that, although the king was relieved that he could finally return to Bumbane, he was frustrated that his son was refusing to vacate the Great Place so Dalindyebo could “come back home” in line with his first name, Buyelekhaya.
He said the king did not trust Azenathi based on their historic fight over the throne.
“How do you stay with somebody who wants to destroy your future? How would you be comfortable staying with someone like that?” asked Ngonyama.