In less than a week after new abaThembu acting King Azenathi Dalindyebo was crowned as head of the royal family following a unanimous vote, the prince has now been stripped of his royal status, this time by the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.
Mabuyane has ordered the acting king to vacate the royal palace and leave behind all the royal benefits that came with it.
According to News24, the decision was made in order to pave the way for his father, Buyelekhaya, who was removed as king by the royal family.
The decision to replace Buyelekhaya with his son, Azenathi, was confirmed by family spokesperson Chief Dumisani Mgudlwa who said unhappiness with the former king’s behaviour led to the officials taking a resolution to replace him.
The Bubane Royal Palace was closed due to infighting after news surfaced that Azenathi was supposedly not Buyelekhaya’s biological son.
The news was confirmed in a letter that was reportedly addressed to the abaThembu Nation and written by representatives from King Buyelekhaya’s office.
Premier Mabuyane has reminded Azenathi that his contract expired on 8 February 2020.
“You are hereby requested to vacate the office and palace of Dalindyebo Kingship with immediate effect on receipt of this correspondence,” read the letter, sent to the prince.
Government legislation in the province states that the premier had the muscle to review an acting appointment of an acting traditional leader every three years, in order to establish whether the acting appointment was still necessary.
The twist in events comes after former king Buyelekhaya was arrested for an axe assault on a family member.
Azenathi served as acting king after Buyelekhaya was sentenced to 12 years in prison for crimes which included assault and arson. The paroled king began his sentence on New Year’s Eve in 2016.