Justice Minister Michael Masutha has given his assurance that AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is classified as a maximum offender and has not received any special treatment in jail or in hospital.

Replying to a written parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance’s James Selfe, Masutha’s office said on Friday the king was classified as a maximum offender.


This follows reports by Eastern Cape newspaper, the Saturday Dispatch, that the king, who started serving a 12-year sentence in December, was receiving royal treatment at the East London Correctional Centre.

This included a diet of food specially prepared for him.

Selfe asked for details about Dalindyebo’s incarceration, including clarity on his diet.

Masutha’s office said the king was housed in a single cell after an application for it was approved.

He had been hospitalised since January and was eating hospital food, the minister said.

“[During] the period the offender was incarcerated at the correctional facility, he received the prescribed inmate diet,” Masutha said.

Dalindyebo unsuccessfully tried several legal avenues to avoid jail.

His crimes involve the treatment he meted out to some of his subjects in 1995 and 1996.

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