HE ADMITS smoking dagga – and last week he angered elders by insulting his wife at a funeral.
BUT MANDELA FAMILY MEMBERS ARE NOT SO SURE.
Family spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Themba Mathanzima yesterday could not commit himself to saying Dalindyebo will be leading the ritual.
“The elders will be in charge of the rituals. If the king is present, he is expected to give directions in cultural aspects,” he said.
He emphasised, however, that the family was united in grief.
“I have not seen any squabbles. Everybody is doing their little bit to co-operate,” he said.
“Buleyekhaya” means “come home” in isiXhosa and yesterday the king’s spokesman, Chief Bovulengwe Mtirara said Dalindyebo will be at Mthatha Airport when Madiba’s body is delivered by the military from Waterkloof Military Airport in Pretoria.
Although Mandela has been given a week-long State send-off – including three days lying in state in Pretoria – his family has brought in traditional practices since he died at the age of 95 at his Houghton, Joburg, home last Thursday.
His grandson and Mvezo chief Mandla Mandela led the chanting of Madiba’s traditional name “Aaah! Dalibhunga.”
Family elders including Mandla Mandela led the military procession which carried Madiba’s body to the Union Buildings this week for public viewing to inform his spirit each time that he was moved.
Mtirara did not divulge details, but said Dalindyebo would oversee the Thembu clan rituals until Madiba was put in his final resting place.
“In any family there are differences but with Madiba’s passing we have put them aside to make sure we are united and give Tata a proper sendoff,” said Mtirara.
The abaThembu clan has been rocked by factions and fighting this year but Madiba’s homecoming promises to unite the mighty tribe.
Among the many controversies caused by King Dalindyebo this year, he publicly announced he had joined the DA and said he was leaving the ANC because he disliked President Jacob Zuma.
In response, Chief Thanduxolo Mtirara, chairman of the abaThembu Royal Council, called King Dalindyebo a “headless chicken” saying he didn’t understand his role as a traditional leader.
The king, who has previously disclosed he smokes dagga, also threatened to expel Mandla as
Mvezo chief over the controversy about the reburial of the remains of Madiba’s children.
Last week an Eastern Cape newspaper reported that Dalindyebo had grabbed a mike at a funeral near Mthatha and called his wife Queen Noluntu a “bitch”.