He says they are targeting church members and rural bases led by chiefs.
Co-founder of Mpumalanga political party SANCOTA and eMalahleni rich man Themba ‘Masofa’ Sgudla has donated a string of beds, blankets and groceries to scores of church members in his party’s final push ahead of 8 May 2019 general elections.
Sgudla visited the United Families Christian Ministries near Vosman in eMalahleni where he urged congregants to “keep the issues of the country in your prayer”.
The businessman, also an estranged friend of deputy president DD Mabuza, is expecting 10 seats at the 400-seat South African house of lawmakers in Cape Town and “various seats” in the Mpumalanga legislature.
One of these seats, Sgudla said, will be given to jailed abaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo “to face the system that humiliated him”.
Dalindyebo, who serves a 12-years sentence since 2015 after an appeal court upheld a 2009 sentence handed down to the King, is in the process of being released on a presidential pardon.
The justice department has already been advised by private lawyers to give the King a pardon and President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently applying his mind.
The Mthatha High Court sentenced Dalindyebo to 15 years in jail for a string of charges involving the physical attack of his subjects. He faced several charges of kidnapping his subjects, kicking them up, burning down their homes, killing them and in the process blocking the hand of law from getting to the bottom of the matter.
After being sentenced in 2009, the King went to appeal but then in 2015 the appeal court upheld the Mthatha High Court judgement. They reduced Dalindyebo’s sentence by 3 years after setting him free on only one charge amongst the rest. It was the charge of culpable homicide.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Mangaung said the reason the case dragged for so long was mainly due to the King’s “dilatory and obstructive” behaviour. They say he changed lawyers 11 times, causing at least 34 postponements to the case and the intimidation of those who were supposed to testify against him.
“His behaviour,” the SCA ruled, “was more deplorable because the victims of his reign of terror were the vulnerable rural poor, who were dependent upon him”.
Sgudla said the putting of Dalindyebo in jail “is an insult to the ancestors”.
“The system cannot see that that man is a King. There was a way to deal with his issue, not embarrass him the way they did. We want him in Parliament to face the system that humiliated him,” Sgudla said.
He told the congregants on Sunday mid-day that his party was in talks with the company that manufactured the beds and wanted the company to be locally owned, perhaps by himself, so that it bolsters skills development and create jobs.
“As Themba Sgudla I promise you nothing except the power of God and that power will free us,” he said.
He added, to applause, that he would continue to donate to the needy “knowing that the blessed hand is the one that is giving”.
(edited by MLM)
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