The legitimacy of jailed AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s five “wives” has come under question after a faction of the feuding royal family disputed in court papers that the king was involved in more than one marriage.
In an answering affidavit on behalf of Dalindyebo’s son Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo‚ Chief Thandisizwe Mtirara said the king had only one legitimate wife and that was Azenathi’s mother Queen Nocollege Dalindyebo.
Azenathi is fighting an attempt by his uncle Prince Mankunku Mthandeni Dalindyebo through the Grahamstown High Court to interdict his coronation ceremony on Friday. Mankunku’s urgent application is to be heard in the Grahamstown High Court today.
Both Mankunku and Azenathi were nominated as acting kings last month by their supporters. It has been argued that Azenathi’s mother Queen Nocollege was never ranked as a royal wife and therefore he did not qualify to act as king.
But Mtirara argued that Dalindyebo married Queen Nocollege in accordance with AbaThembu customs.
“Strictly speaking‚ King Dalindyebo has only one wife [Nocollege] and has never been involved in a polygamous marriage relationship.”
The Daily Dispatch understands that five women have reportedly been “married” to Dalindyebo – Nocollege, Noluntu, Nokwanda, Nolitha and Nolwazi. Nolitha and Nolwazi have since passed away.
Although Mtirara said Dalindyebo was never involved in a polygamous marriage, he confirmed that the king was once married to Phumla Ngqukumba (Queen Noluntu Dalindyebo) but they later divorced. No children were born out of the marriage.
He said Dalindyebo had “attempted” to marry Buyiswa Mbondi (Nokwanda Dalindyebo) but this had failed.
Noluntu, meanwhile, has since 2012 been a part of the faction supporting Mankunku. Both Noluntu and Mankunku have previously acted for Dalindyebo.
Nokwanda is the only one who was living with the king at the time of his incarceration.
“If the reigning king is involved in a monogamous marriage, ranking of wives is impossible with the result that the firstborn child of that marriage [Azenathi] has the right of succession to the throne. This is regardless whether he takes the throne on acting or permanent basis,” Mtirara said.
He denied a claim by Mankunku in his application that no son of a traditional leader had ever ruled or acted while his father was still alive.
“When Chief Kaizer Daliwonga Matanzima was busy with issues relating to establishment of the independence of Transkei, his son Prince Mthethuvumile Matanzima acted in his stead.”
He added that it was Mankunku who was not entitled to the throne.
“In the absence of [Azenathi], a person from Iqadi of the Great House of King Sabatha Dalindyebo [Dalindyebo’s father] would be entitled to hold the fort,” Mtirara said.
– TMG Digital/DispatchLIVE