THE ruling party made a last ditch attempt on the eve of the elections to get AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo back into its fold.
The king, who publicly announced his support for the DA, rejected what he described a “bribe” from ANC heavyweights.
In an interview with the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Dalindyebo claimed ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu had asked him to tell the AbaThembu nation to vote for the ruling party.
Dalindyebo claimed he was promised “everything will be solved” if he walked away from the DA.
This included the murder case against the king. Dalindyebo was sentenced to 15 years in jail for murder, assault and arson.
Both Sisulu and Mkhize confirmed talking to Dalindyebo but said the discussions were limited to convincing him to “come back home”.
Sisulu’s advisor Silumko Sikupa and another man Dalindyebo identified as “Bra Sox” from the Ministry of Agriculture were seen leaving Bumbane Great Place yesterday.
Dalindyebo said the ANC’s advances proved it was “wounded”.
Mkhize’s call was reportedly followed by one from Sisulu.
“I told them no. There is a difference between me and [Agang leader] Mamphela Ramphele. I cannot join DA overnight and leave overnight,” Dalindyebo said.
The Thembu monarch claimed that among promises made to him was that the KwaZulu-Natal government would give him benefits he was denied by the Eastern Cape government. “It doesn’t matter whether they are bringing millions or tickies, but I would not be swerved by this kind of cheap stance,” he said.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said Mkhize called Dalindyebo after hearing the king wanted to speak to ANC leaders.
“He raised a lot of issues, including his maltreatment [sic] by the provincial government. No promise of money was made,” Mthembu said.
Responding to claims by Dalindyebo that his criminal case would also be “solved”, Thembu said the ANC had no control over the country’s courts.
“He [Mkhize] cannot make any court injunction disappear,” said Mthembu.
DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said he did not know about the telephone calls.
Dalindyebo said of the ANC’s move: “In the past, this was their comfort zone. Now people are shifting the means of power. They have changed their minds from sticking to the ANC without any reason.” —