Xikundu royal gets a taste of jail

Benson Ntlemo

Benson Ntlemo

Malamulele village in Eastern Cape is abuzz after a member of the well-known Xikundu royal family, Freddie Xikundu, spent the weekend behind bars.

This was after Xikundu was arrested on Thursday night for allegedly robbing a bottle-store at Nkavele village in the area.

Xikundu, a schoolteacher at the Manghena Primary School, is regarded as the power behind the throne.

He is sometimes called the chief executive officer of the royal family.

According to the police they received a tip-off about the bottlestore burglary and went to the scene. One of the three burglary suspects was shot and wounded and taken to the Malamulele Hospital.

The arrest has elicited a great deal of interest in the area since Xikundu has been at loggerheads with community members, who claim he is a bad influence on their chief.

He is also accused of charging levies that are well beyond the government structure.

A case in which he faces a number of fraud counts involving levies is pending. A month ago he was fined R4 000 or three months' imprisonment for contempt of court after he failed to appear on these fraud charges while on bail.

The three burglary suspects are expected to appear at the Saselamani police station today.

Asked to comment on his brother's arrest, Chief John Xikundu would only say: "Who gave you my number?"