Jailed AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s eldest son, Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo, has been appointed acting king of the AbaThembu – again.
A ceremony to install him in the position will be held on November 25.
However, due to feuding factions in the royal family, Azenathi’s ascension to the throne means the AbaThembu now have two acting kings as his uncle, Prince Mankunku Dalindyebo,47, was also appointed to the acting position.
Azenathi, 24, was appointed acting king during an AbaThembu national meeting held at Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha on Sundaywhile Mankunku was appointed on October21 by his supporters during a meeting of Ngangelizwe royal houses.
Neither side recognises the other acting king, although the appointment of Azenathi has received the blessing of the AbaThembu’s national executive committee (NEC), including AbaThembu from KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces.
NEC chairman Vusi Mvelase and members of the executive travelled from KwaZulu-Natalto Bumbane Great Place to support Azenathi.The chairman of the AbaThembu royal family faction that is supporting the young acting king, Chief Thandisizwe Mtirara, said Sunday’s meeting was to confirm a resolution taken in October last year to appoint Azenathi.
“His father, and royal family members took the resolution. It was later confirmed by all AmaDlomo, traditional leaders and Aba-Thembu nation as whole,” Mtirara said.
Chief Dumisani Mgudwa stressed Azenathi would be installed only as acting king.
Azenathi’s uncle, Prince Siganeko Dalindyebo, said: “We have taken a decision that on November 25 he be installed. This has been delayed far too long and we are proceeding with this.”
Speakers on Sunday lashed out at the rival family faction, saying the feud was a demon destroying the kingship of AbaThembu.
Mvelase, and Mdengentonga Liwani, who is the leader of the #FreeOurKingCampaign to have Dalindyebo released from prison, were particularly critical of the rival grouping, saying it had excluded the nation.
“Your royal family row must not continue to hold the nation hostage over our kingship,” Mvelase hold the nation hostage over our kingship,” Mvelase said.
Liwani said Azenathi was the rightful person to act in the position, but must lead campaigns to release his father.