Politics

Update: SA reprieved as AbaThembu king offers secession compromise

By Branko Brkic 6 January 2010

The magnanimous king of the Thembu tribe has offered South Africa a last minute reprieve and held back his promised declaration of independence. But he still wants R80 billion, or there’ll be all kinds of trouble.

Update: On mature reflection, it seems, king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo decided to give the SA government a little more time to think about his very reasonable proposal. Instead of declaring independence today, and taking over more than half the country, he’s extended the deadline. But unless he gets his R80 billion and his sentence overturned, his representative says, there’ll be destabilisation of the World Cup and fire and brimstone rained down and suchlike.

Read more: iAfrica.com


Main story: With the delivery of an official notice to Parliament, which, it seems, is more a matter of courtesy than a legal requirement, Thembuland will secede from South Africa at noon on Wednesday. From that point onwards all the Cape provinces, KwaZulu-Natal and parts of both Gauteng and the Free State will belong to the AbaThembu tribe.

The declaration of independence follows the totally unreasonable failure by the South African government to accept a compromise proposed by the AbaThembu, in which the tribe would forgo its rightful historic claim (for now, at least) in return for a payment of R80 billion and an apology to its king, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

That apology would be for the guilty verdict against Dalindyebo, who was in December sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for kidnapping, arson, culpable homicide and a couple of other crimes. Dalindyebo is appealing the verdict, while prosecutors are pushing for an increased sentence.

How exactly relations will be managed between Thembuland and The Country Formerly Known As South Africa is an open question. Dalindyebo is a staunch ANC supporter and has, in turn, had the support of the Eastern Cape provincial ANC. But when his legal team presented its R80 billion demand to the Presidency in late December it was laughed out of the office. Now, however, the former SA will be by far the poorer cousin, stuck with such economic midgets as Limpopo and the Northern Province. Its executive may have to assume a far more grovelling attitude.

By Phillip de Wet

Read more: Daily Dispatch, Dispatch blog and secession documents

Orginal map: South Africa Tours and Travel

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"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine

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