Eastern Cape premier Lubabalo Mabuyane has confirmed that AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo will not be attending the funeral service of the late AmaXhosa king Zwelonke Sigcawu on Friday.

This comes amid calls for the jailed king to be granted temporary release to be at Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale for the funeral.

Mabuyane says, following consultations with king Dalindyebo, the government and the citizens need to respect his decision.

“We can confirm that there was an engagement between government and King Zwelibanzi in this matter, in line with Section 44 of Correctional services Act. It was his decision that he won’t be attending the funeral of King Zweonke Sigcawu because his attendance might cause unnecessary distraction during this moment for AmaXhosa and the people of SA at large.”