AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo will not attend his wife Queen Nolitha Dalindyebo’s funeral this weekend, his family said on Wednesday.
“He would have loved to be there, but under his conditions now, we don’t think it is proper to send him there,” family relative and spokesperson Prince Mthunzi Ngonyama told News24.
The queen died two weeks ago after falling ill, Ngonyama said. She would be buried at her parents’ home in Ncgobo, Eastern Cape.
During a visit to Dalindyebo in prison last week, it was decided that he not attend the funeral so as not to distract from the ceremony.
“You can imagine. The attention will turn to him and it will be very uncomfortable. He has just lost a wife and wouldn’t like to have himself seen in that state with handcuffs.”
Ngonyama said Dalindyebo would carry out the necessary traditional practices with regard to his wife’s passing once he was released from prison.
In the meantime, Dalindyebo’s family would attend the funeral on behalf of the family.
Dalindyebo is serving a 12-year sentence at the East London prison for treatment he meted out to some of his subjects in 1995 and 1996.
He handed himself over at the Mthatha Correctional Centre in December 2015 after unsuccessfully trying several legal avenues to avoid serving his time. He was transferred to the East London Maximum Correctional Centre.
In 2009, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for culpable homicide, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, arson and kidnapping. He was granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
In October 2015, the SCA set aside his culpable homicide conviction and reduced his sentence to 12 years.