Unhappy sidelined king raises a stink
KING-in-waiting Prince Siyambonga Dalivula Matanzima has broken his silence about his ill-treatment and being labelled an alcoholic by certain members of the AbaThembu royal family.
Some of his grievances are that he has to hitch-hike for transport, has been reduced to live on his mother's pension and is sidelined on decision-making issues.
The frustrated prince (48), who lives with his mother on Wellworth farm near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, was appointed king of the AbaThembu of Western Tembuland after the death of King Lwandile Zwelenkosi in 2010.
King Lwandile, who married Swazi Princess Gcinile Dlamini in 2004, died without an heir.
According to custom, Prince Siyambonga, who is the deceased's uncle, was expected to ascend the throne two weeks after the late king's burial.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday World, Prince Siyambonga, who is unemployed, claimed there was a plot devised to unseat him as king.
"I was appointed king by the royal family and was asked to leave my work as a school teacher to prepare for the throne, but the same people are plotting against me.
"When I was appointed king they pointed out three concerns," he explains.
"Firstly, they said I was a drunkard; secondly they asked me to study leadership, which I did, and thirdly they said I had to marry a wife from another royal family in South Africa. These were just delaying tactics, because I'm not a drunk and I studied leadership at a college in Tsolo. But I can't divorce my wife just because she isn't a royal.
"In fact, the very same royals helped me to marry her."
He says he wrote several letters to the chairperson of the AbaThembu royal family, Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, but his pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
AbaThembu royal family chairperson Chief Ngangomhlaba confirms that Prince Siyambonga is the rightful successor to the throne.
"Yes, he is king of Western Tembuland. The family nominated him as the king designate but he was asked to sort out his personal life before he ascends the throne," he says, denying talk of the plot.
He dismisses the claim that he received a letter of complaint from Prince Siyambonga and adds: "He wants to sort out royal household matters in the media. This he can't do. He must come to me."
Says Prince Siyambonga: "He, Ngangomhlaba, is one of the people who don't want me to become king. We don't get along."
He says if he's invited to royal family meetings his views aren't considered and invites to national political meetings and rallies don't reach him; his detractors attend them as his "representatives".
"I know some went to the ANC's Mangaung conference in December to represent me but I was never consulted."
The prince says he is living off his mother's pension.
"The regent, King Gwazinamba, who is supposedly standing in for me, is driving flashy cars, while I have to hitch-hike to town or walk. I don't receive any benefits from government."
A local chief and a member of the royal council, Chief Zwelikhanyile Sabata, calls Siyambonga "disrespectful" and "an alcoholic".
"I can't stand him.
"He is silly and he's a heavy drinker and I doubt he'll ever stop drinking," says Sabata.
He says he doesn't think the prince will ever lead the AbaThembu in Western Tembuland.
"Look, he doesn't respect locals, and he isn't well-groomed for the position," says Sabata.
Prince Siyambonga has approached the Eastern Cape local government and traditional affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane to intervene. He is also seeking financial assistance.