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South Africa’s Minister of Correctional Services Michael Masutha dismissed a petition by Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo to reopen his case.
At a press conference in Pretoria, Masutha said: “In the circumstances, I am unable to find anything contained in the aforesaid petition which constitutes ‘further evidence which has since become available, which materially affects his or her conviction’ and therefore am obliged to dismiss this petition.”
During 2009, Dalindyebo was sentenced to an effective 15 years’ imprisonment after being convicted on various crimes ranging from culpable homicide, arson, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and kidnapping by the Mthatha High Court.
On appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, his conviction of culpable homicide was set aside and the sentence was reduced to 12 years’ effective imprisonment.
A further appeal to the Constitutional Court failed, leading Dalindyebo to petition the justice minister for a directive to reopen his case.
Dalindyebo, king of the Abathembu tribe in the Eastern Cape, is on bail until Wednesday, when he is expected to hand himself over to the head of Mthatha Correctional Centre.
Masutha said he had communicated his decision to the king’s legal representatives.
He said the king “has thus exhausted all legal remedies available to him and is now petitioning me for a directive to reopen his case”.
The minister said it was important to note that the submission of the petition had no bearing on the king’s pending incarceration.