AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo spent Christmas with his family after his bail conditions were extended until December 30 by the Mthatha High Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Dalindyebo’s lawyers apparently went into the judge’s chambers on Wednesday at 15:00 and emerged two hours later with the ruling.
The king’s lawyers told News24 that they were on their way to his compound in Nkululekweni, Mthatha, to brief him on developments. They were expected to issue a statement later on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, News24 reported that Dalindyebo was refusing to hand himself over to the Mthatha Correctional Centre to start his 12 year sentence.
Late on Tuesday, Dalindyebo appealed for clemency, saying he was a victim of injustice.
A petition was sent to the justice ministry by his lawyer Yasmin Omar.
Omar petitioned Justice Minister Michael Masutha to direct that the king’s trial be reopened in terms of Section 327 of the Criminal Procedure Act, ministry spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.
“The relevant section is only applicable to that person if there is new evidence that has since surfaced that may affect his or her conviction. The Minister is currently considering the petition and will respond as soon as all the necessary assessment has been done,” Mhaga said in a statement.
On December 2, the Constitutional Court dismissed Dalindyebo’s appeal against his 12-year jail sentence. In 2009, Dalindyebo was sentenced to 15 years in prison for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson, and kidnapping.
But on October 1, the SCA set aside Dalindyebo’s culpable homicide conviction. It, however, confirmed the rest of the guilty verdicts. It reduced his sentence to 12 years. He was subsequently granted R6 000 bail pending his appeal to the Constitutional Court.
The charges relate to Dalindyebo’s mistreatment of his subjects between 1995 and 1996, on a farm he owned near Mthatha.
Dalindyebo set fire to the houses of three tenants to evict them because he believed they had breached tribal rules. He publicly assaulted three young men for crimes they had allegedly committed.