Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s release from prison will restore the dignity to the community and strengthen the Abathembu Kingdom. This is according to King Dalindyebo’s Spokesperson Prince Langalibalele Ngonyama.
Dalindyebo was sentenced in 2015 to 12 years for charges including kidnapping and assault. Ngonyama says they welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to grant the King remission with the expectation that he will be pardoned in due course.
“All I would like to say is Ah! Zwelibanzi. It’s important for the King to be back. We need him. The community needs him. There are still issues or pending issues of traditional leaders who have certain claims over particular thrones and issues of land jurisdictions and so on. Those are key issues that need to be resolved because they can escalate to some unexpected violence. So the community needs him. We need to have a direction. Putting the King in there is sort of arresting the entire Kingdom.”
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola provided details on the remissions of sentences granted to a number of prisoners including fees must fall activist Kanya Cekeshe and Abathembu King Dalindyebo shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a Reconciliation Day event at Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal, that a number of prisoners would be granted remission of sentence.
Minister Lamola says King Dalindyebo has applied for a presidential pardon and is awaiting consideration. He says the King will benefit from the remission matter.
“He’ll benefit on the remission and his benefit is 12 months, he is going to cut the sentence by 12 months. In October the King was legible to apply and be considered for parole. The one year gives him benefit – through operational processes between the commissioner, family and the King himself. The process will be undertaken as to when and how he’ll be released.”
According to the Justice and Correctional Services Department, the last special remissions were granted under former President Jacob Zuma in 2012 on Freedom Day. More than 45 000 offenders were remitted under Ramaphosa’s two predecessors. Nineteen thousand six hundred and ninety-five of them were sentenced offenders while twenty-five thousand three hundred and thirty-eight were parolees.
Former President Thabo Mbeki also granted special remissions to more than 65 000 offenders on the 30 May 2005. Close to 32 000 of them were sentenced offenders and nearly 34 000 were probationers and parolees who were released over a period of three months.
Hundred and fifty-seven of the offenders who were granted special remission under former President Mbeki re-offended. A hundred and twelve of the more than 45 000 offenders who were granted special remissions under former President Zuma also re-offended.