Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (born 5 April 1964), formerly addressed as Buyelekhaya Zwelinbanzi Dalindyebo ka Sabata, is the king of the abaThembu kingdom. The royalty has been caught up in many controversies.

Even with the fast-rising domination of western culture, the king and his people maintained their culture. The community preserved their cultures, traditions, and customs.

The King served a jail sentence for some time leaving the position vacant for his son. His son sat on the throne ruling the abaThembu Kingdom for his father.

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo
King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo biography
Buyelekhaya Zwelinbanzi Dalindyebo ka Sabata is the amiable king of the powerful AbaThembu Kingdom.
Background Information
Full Name: Buyelekhaya Zwelinbanzi Dalindyebo ka Sabata
Royal Name: Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo
Title: King
Kingdom: The AbaThembu Kingdom
Born: 5 April 1964 (age 58)
Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Education: N/A
Father: Sabata Jonguhlanga Dalindyebo
Siblings: N/A
Wife: Queen Nokwanda Dalindyebo
Son: Azenathi Zanelizwe Dalindyebo
Occupation: King • Monarch
Salary: R1.1 million
Net Worth: $5 million

Early Life

Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo became royalty after he was born on 5 April 1964. His father Sabata Jonguhlanga Dalindyebo fulfilled all the required rites to welcome him into the royal family.

He is from the port city of Cape Town in the South West of South Africa. He raised and taught the traditions, customs, and culture of the people of AbaThembu Kingdom. Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo succeeded his father to be the king of this powerful kingdom.


In 2005, Buyelekhaya was charged with multiple crimes he committed. The king was charged with murder, attempted murder, assault (three counts), arson (three counts), seven counts of kidnapping and fraud.

According to reports, these crimes he committed were against his subjects in the ’90s. These charges were brought forth in Mthatha High Court, the court convicted the king under the Correctional Services Act.

In 2015, he received a sentence to serve a jail term of twelve years. This had a negative result on his membership with the Democratic Alliance. The membership had to be terminated two years into his recruitment.

At first, the king was to serve a term of fifteen years behind bars. Following an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, it was reduced to twelve years.

In December 2015, when he was about to begin serving his prison sentence. He tried all within his capacity to reach avoid incarceration as he petitioned for a presidential pardon.

The end of the month saw the dismissal of the petition and his incarceration followed on 30 December 2015. In January the following year, reports covered that he had been on a hunger strike.


His kingship has been withdrawn by the presidency while they decide on a replacement. His family was sent out of the royal household and Buyelekhaya was removed from the payroll as King.

In December 2019, following the Day of Reconciliation speech by Cyril Ramaphosa, Buyelekhaya was released from prison. He only served a third of his sentence.


In 2014, Buyelekhaya’s dethronement was requested by a group of chiefs during the tenure of Jacob Zuma. In their description, the king is evil and not fit to rule their people.

Judging from their reactions, we could conclude that the king is rather harsh in carrying out his kingdom duties. Apparently, under the custom, he has been dethroned as the king when his spear was taken away from him. He allegedly waits for the legal process of dethronement.


In March 2020, he made headlines again after he was arrested and charged with domestic violence. According to reports, the former king visited the royal house at 2 a.m on the morning of 13 March 2020.

The reports covered that he held an axe and attacked the acting king Azenathi and his wife. Both the acting king and queen were hospitalized. As he tried to escape, Azenathi reportedly jumped through the palace window.

Personal Life

He is married to Queen Nokwanda Dalindyebo and together they have a son Azenathi Dalindyebo. The prince filled in the vacancy in the royal house following his incarceration. He was the temporal head of the abaThembu kingdom in his father’s absence.

Upon the return of his father, he made an official step down to allow his dad, the king, to continue with his leadership duties.


In January 2016, News 24 covered in an article that King Buyelekhaya receives a salary of R1.1 million. While serving his jail term, a few months into his 12-year jail term, the king was recovering with the knowledge that his salary and medical aid is still paid.

Net Worth

Being a king comes with power, wealth, and other financial benefits. King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo enjoyed these benefits. Reports allege the king to have a net worth of $5 million.