The Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) in the Eastern Cape said “misunderstandings” between King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo and President Jacob Zuma should not blur objective decision making, as they prepare to petition the president.
The congress’ provincial chairperson, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane, said they would meet on Monday to finalise their petition to Zuma on securing clemency or preferential treatment for the controversial monarch during his incarceration.
He described their sentiment as “worried but confident” that Zuma would set aside personal differences.
“As human beings, there are worries that things are taken personally, but the misunderstanding between the two men should not blur any objective decision making by the president,” Nonkonyane told News24.
Contralesa are asking for Dalindyebo to be granted clemency or be allowed to have a single cell during his stay in the prison.
He said the royal house met on Sunday in Bumbane Great Place in Mthatha and they would meet again to decide on whether they would petition Zuma on his behalf.
“After that decision is made, we will meet tomorrow to finalise our submission to Zuma,” he said.
Contralesa would also meet with officials from correctional services to request that Dalibyebo not be kept with other prisoners.
“The fact is that he is the king. You can’t just mix him with other criminals and his subjects. The department of correctional services should bear this in mind. He should be secluded in order to rehabilitate,” Nonkonyane said.
Dalindyebo has to hand himself over on Wednesday to start serving a term at the prison after being convicted on charges of culpable homicide, kidnapping, arson, assault and defeating the ends of justice.
In December last year, Dalindyebo visited Zuma at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal to apologise for comments he made against him.
“The king came to apologise to President Zuma and said he had come to ‘humble himself before the president as a son to a father’ for his recent utterances,” Zuma’s then spokesperson Mac Maharaj said at the time.
“The king gave the president a cow as a sign of his apology, and the president reciprocated by giving the king a cow as well as a sign of accepting the apology.”
Dalindyebo had previously called Zuma a “liar” and a “Zulu boy”. News24