King Dalindyebo released from prison, say family
AbaThembu King Buyel'Ekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo is a free man.
Dalindyebo was released from the East London Correctional Centre in West Bank at around midnight on Sunday and was taken by correctional service officers to his Nkululekweni home in Mthatha where he was met by his wife Queen Nokwanda Dalindyebo and other family members.
He had his first sleep at home after four years. Ironically, he handed himself over to prison authorities in Wellington Prison in Mthatha at midnight on December 31 2015 to start a 12-year sentence. This was after he was found guilty of arson, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
Though there is no official comment, DispatchLIVE reliably learnt of his release from a number of sources in the family and in correctional services.
On December 16 President Cyril Ramaphosa and justice minister Ronald Lamola announced that Dalindyebo could soon be a free man — albeit on parole. He was to benefit from the remission of sentences announcement made that day.
The remission was for a period of 12 months, which means that Dalindyebo — and other inmates — will have one year taken from his sentence.
At the time Lamola said Dalindyebo was eligible for parole in October.
“Through operational processes, a process will be undertaken as to when and how he will be released. So he benefits [from the remission]," the minister said.
He added that Dalindyebo's application for a presidential pardon was “still on the table of the president and has not yet been considered”.
Dalindyebo was found guilty of arson, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
The AbaThembu royal family and the royal council are preparing to have a meeting at Bumbane Great Place at 11am on Monday.
Dalindyebo's son and Acting King Azenathi Dalindyebo has already declared that he will step down when his father is released.
He told a gathering during his BA degree graduation last week that it was his last meeting as an acting king of AbaThembu.