KING IS PROBED

THE Transkei director of public prosecutions has confirmed that Aba-Thembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is being investigated after allegations of sexual assault.

THE Transkei director of public prosecutions has confirmed that Aba-Thembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is being investigated after allegations of sexual assault.

The confirmation is the first official acknowledgement that the controversial king is implicated in the investigation, and follows revelations yesterday in our sister publication, Daily Dispatch, that three girls - one aged 15 and two 19-year-olds - had reported cases of sexual assault to police.

The authorities had avoided naming the king, though they confirmed the existence of the sexual assault complaints. The confirmation by the TDPP's Humphrey Lusu came as details emerged of a letter written by the parents of the alleged victims, which contained explosive claims about the king.

Lusu said: "A letter was received from some members of the Dalindyebo family, complaining about some aspects of behaviour of Dalindyebo."

The DailyDispatch has a copy of the letter but it is not publishing it because of the ongoing investigation.

Lusu said he could not disclose what was in the letter for "fear of hurting those who wrote it and those against whom the allegations are made".

He confirmed he had received a police docket and that the matter was still under investigation. He would make a decision on whether or not to prosecute once the investigation was complete.

Lusu intervened after receiving a letter on April 23 from parents of alleged victims accusing the police of dragging their feet in investigating the case. The letter accused the king of abusing his power and said they feared the case would not progress because of his status.

The crimes alleged by the girls were reported in April and earlier this month, but some relate to incidents dating back to 2005. The incidents are alleged to have occurred at the king's Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha.

These developments came as the whereabouts of the 15-year-old complainant are still unclear. The teenager mysteriously disappeared a week after approaching the police.

Dalindyebo was last year found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Mthatha high court for various serious crimes, including attempted murder and arson.

He was granted leave to appeal .

Dalindyebo has recently dominated headlines with his attempt to secede from South Africa. - Lubabalo Ngcukana (Daily Dispatch)

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