Johannesburg – AbaThembu Prince Azenathi insists he is the legitimate son of AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo and says he is ready to take a DNA test to prove this.
He also lashed out at Dalindyebo for persistently hanging the royal family’s dirty laundry out to the public following his assertion that he is an illegitimate son.
Azenathi is currently acting as the king following Dalindyebo’s incarceration and subsequent release.
The prince’s spokesperson, Thandisizwe Mtirara, said the acting king was shocked to see a statement in which his father was disowning him, saying he was an illegitimate child although there was medical proof to back the claim he was his son.
In the latest development, Dalindyebo claimed he had received a tip-off that confirmed his suspicions Azenathi was fathered by another man.
Dalindyebo said he wanted Azenathi out of the royal family as he wanted to officially shut down the Bumbane Great Place Palace which Azenathi currently occupies.
Dalindyebo lives at Enkululekweni Palace in Mthatha as his parole conditions do not allow him to move back to Bumbane.
However, Azenathi has stood his ground, with Mtirara saying the king’s claim was “nonsense” as the matter should have first been discussed within the royal family instead of being spread to the whole world.
“This is devoid of the truth as there has not been any DNA proof. His son is ready to take a DNA test,” said Mtirara.
He maintained that some royal family members recognised Azenathi as Dalindyebo’s real son because his “laughter, smile and walk resemble that of his father and no one else”.
“He (Dalindyebo) is lying. This is his son,” said Mtirara.
Mtirara added that Azenathi would continue to act as the AbaThembu king and not even “his father” would remove him.
“He is the one in charge of the nation. What is being said will not remove him from the position. Only the royal family can decide whether or not he (should) relinquish the position for his father to take over but this would not be decided by his father as the kingdom does not belong to Zwelibanzi (Dalindyebo). It belongs to the AbaThembu nation, “ said Mtirara.
He pointed out that Azenathi understood the statement as the continuation of hatred his father has towards him.
The king, meanwhile, also accused his estranged wife of having given birth to Azenathi after being impregnated by another man.
“This was suspected for a very long time until proof was acquired. His majesty gave Azenathi an option of a DNA test if he has a claim to being his son,” read the statement.
Dalindyebo, who was released on parole in December last year after serving a portion of his 12-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assault and arson, was arrested and released on warning after he stoned Obumbani and assaulted his son.
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the department was still investigating the possibility of reversing Dalindyebo’s parole. “Since he was released on warning, the case (for attacking his son) is still continuing. He will return to court in June,” said Nxumalo.
Dalindyebo’s spokesperson, Babalo Papu, said two months ago, a man, whom he declined to name, approached Dalindyebo about Azenathi’s real biological father.
“The DNA test has not been done yet, but someone told us about the family of Azenathi’s father. “The man said Azenathi’s father, who had since died, said to the king, ‘Your majesty you are being troubled by the child that does not belong to you’,” Papu claimed.
He alleged that when Dalindyebo summoned all his children to take DNA tests, Azenathi and his mother allegedly refused. “When Azenathi is told that he is not the legitimate son, he does not respond, and when his father asks him to do DNA, he does not respond,” said Papu.
The Dr Nokuzola Mndende Icamagu Institute said: “At this point we say AmaDlomo (another name for AbaThembu) within the inner circle must debate it.” Unisa political analyst Professor Somadoda Fikeni said that the infighting between the king and his son was not only “immensely” damaging to the reputation of the royal family and the AbaThembu people, but in addition it was proving damaging to the entire African traditional leadership system.
“(The system) is suffering some degeneration due to lack of self-corrective mechanisms in the face of succession and dealing with bad conduct of some of its members as well as the failure to resolve the death of initiates during circumcisions, etc.”
By Bongani Hans