Within days of being installed as the acting king of the abaThembu, Prince Azenathi Dalindyebo has made his first line of business a fight to free his jailed father, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
During his colourful coronation ceremony in Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha on Friday, Azenathi, 24, and his advisers said he would be leading the #OperationMakabuye campaign to galvanise support and bring pressure on the government to free his father.
He is opening a trust account to raise money for his father, who will be penniless when he gets out of jail in 11 years.
“As the acting king, Zanelizwe [Azenathi] will lead the campaign to free his father,” amaDlomo elder Chief Zwelodumo Mtirara said.
“He must work hard to ensure that his father comes back and takes back his throne and leads his people. We will ensure his immediate release.”
Azenathi was officially enrobed with a royal leopard skin by his uncles, Chief Zwelinzima Ngoza, of Msinga in KwaZuluNatal, and Chief Dumisani Zwelenqaba Mgudlwa.
Mtirara said Azenathi could not be enrobed with a lion skin gown as it was reserved for his father, who was still the king.
Dalindyebo began serving a 12-year prison term in December for kidnapping, arson and defeating the ends of justice.
Azenathi was warned not to be a law unto himself, but to act as a servant of the people.
He was also told to respect his father as the reigning king and to stay away from liquor.
“Serve your people with dignity and humility and people will give you the respect you deserve,” the Rev Phila Magcaba said on behalf of IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.