The AbaThembu‘s acting King Azenathi Zanelizwe Dalindyebo has publicly admitted that the royal delegation he led was denied access to his father, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, at his private residence outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

He says they were instructed to go back and that the king would call when he was ready to meet them. This was revealed at a public meeting of the AbaThembu nation, sparking questions as to why King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo did not feel it was important to meet his son.

The meeting was attended by traditional leaders, the royal family and the public at Bumbane Great Place, outside Mthatha.

Acting King Azenathi Zanelizwe reported back to the nation that his father was released from prison last month after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he had been granted a special remission of sentence.

‘We were not barred’

King Azenathi told them he will continue acting as they are still trying to convince the Presidency to consider his presidential pardon.

He confirmed that indeed they were barred from meeting the king at Enkululekweni. “Indeed we went there; in fact, I went there accompanied by the elders that form part of the traditional committee. We arrived at my home town and we were told that the king will call us when he is ready and indeed we turned back hoping that the phone call will invite us back but we are still waiting.”

An ally of acting king Azenathi, Chief Zwelenqaba Mgudlwa has refuted the claims that they were barred from the King’s private residence.

“No!! No!! We were not barred on that day, let’s clear that thing, and we were not barred. We were given a word by the king that he is going to call us and we are still waiting for him even now he is still going to call us. There are peace and stability. The day we wanted to see the king, it was his arrival. He was tired and he wanted to be peaceful and he gave us the date of which is still coming.”

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s spokesperson, Mthunzi Ngonyama, has confirmed that the acting king and his entourage were turned away. Mthunzi says Azenathi has no right to meet King Buyelekhaya because he is not the king but the son.

“King told me that he turned him away and his delegation. He said that he just needs his time to relax and secondly if he wants to meet him he will call him to come to him as the son, not as the acting king or anything of that nature, he must come as the son and he will call his son when he is ready to meet with him.”

Meanwhile, Prince Dabulingwe Nzima believes that acting King Azenathi should continue acting. “As one of the pillars of the Tembu Dynasty, as the house of the AmaQwathi in Ngcobo we fully support that, we are fully behind the acting King because it was the King himself which in several times elected him to act on his behalf whilst he is away on the course. So we are fully behind what the Amadlomo clan has chosen to support the present acting king.”

It is not clear if the three AbaThembu factions will meet to iron out their differences that have divided the nation.