“Acting Judge Justin Laing at the Mthatha High Court issued directives granting Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo a hearing date of September 5, to bring an application interdicting Zuma, following through on his letter threatening to remove him as king of Abathembu,” Dalindyebo’s spokesman Nkosi Bovulengwe Mtirara said in a statement on Thursday.
He said the judge directed that papers be served on the five respondents: President Jacob Zuma, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan, the Eastern Cape premier, the province’s co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC, and Thanduxolo Mtirara, the leader of the people urging Zuma to remove the king.
Dalindyebo wanted the court to grant him an interdict preventing Zuma from removing him.
This was until another court had determined whether the president could remove a king from power, and whether the section of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act on which he relied to do so was constitutional.
The king wanted the court to interdict Thanduxolo Mtirara from continuing to speak on behalf of the royal house.
“In support of the application, the king cites the fact that Zuma did not even ascertain whether the complainants constitute the royal family, as required by the act,” Bovulengwe Mtirara said.
“The other point that the king seeks to be considered by the court is the unequal treatment of kingship, citing the disparity of other kingship with the Zulu kingship.”
In July, President Jacob Zuma wrote to Dalindyebo asking him to make representations about why his recognition certificate as king should not be withdrawn.
Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj said this was in line with the request from the Abathembu royal family. They wrote to Zuma on October 1, 2012 and February 4, 2013 asking him to implement their decision, taken on September 29, 2012, to remove Dalindyebo as king.