King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo will not be voting for the African National Congress in the next elections. The outspoken AbaThembu king has officially renounced the ruling party and believes that the grass is greener on the Democratic Alliance side of the fence. According to media reports, King Dalindyebo had previously approached the DA on several occasions since 2010 to find out more about the policies of the party.
The king met with DA leader in the Eastern Cape, Athol Trollip, to discuss membership and how the king may contribute actively towards “helping the DA establish itself in his area of jurisdiction”. Trollip explained that King Dalindyebo would not qualify to hold the position of a DA public representative. Trollip said: “I’m simply going to go and see him about signing up his own personal membership.”
The reason why King Dalindyebo does not qualify to be a public representative of the DA may have plenty to do with the fact that he faces a jail term of 15 years for serious crimes including attempted murder. The king is appealing the sentence. The DA spoke with the king about the scandals that have plagued him. Trollip added: “I made it clear that the DA expects its members to conduct themselves in line with the party’s values and principles.”
The king has always been outspoken and unafraid to share his thoughts publicly. In recent weeks, President Jacob Zuma and the ANC have felt the wrath of the king’s outbursts. During a prayer meeting for former President Nelson Mandela in Qunu, King Dalindyebo labelled the ANC as “corrupt hooligans”. It was at this meeting that the king reportedly said that joining the DA would be an ideal gift to Nelson Mandela whose legacy and values have been distorted by the ANC under the leadership of Zuma.
Last week, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo nonchalantly said that his association with dagga must not be met with shock because it is cultural behavior for him. He confirmed his way of life: “I am a Rastafarian by nature.”
The day after President Jacob Zuma’s fourth cabinet reshuffle, King Dalindyebo did not restrain himself when speaking to the media. The king’s opinion is that the president “flushes people like condoms” referring to the ministers who were dismissed and those who were allocated new positions. King Dalindyebo continued his harsh rhetoric: “Unfortunately, the president has a habit of not condomising. We don’t like people with that kind of attitude. His behavior is a shower mentality.” The spokesperson for the AbaThembu Royal House, Nkosi Daludumo Mtirara apologised to President Zuma on behalf of the royal family.
The African National Congress is only too eager to bid the king farewell. In a statement read by the secretary of the ANC in the Eastern Cape Lubabalo Mabuyane, the ruling party said: “We wish him all the best in his political wilderness, because he will need it.” The ANC is not disappointed that the king is using his constitutional right to freedom of association.