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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional leaders in South Africa's new democracy
Authors:Bank, LeslieISNI
Southall, RogerISNI
Periodical:Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:The concept of mixed government developed by Richard Sklar (1986, 1993, 1994) can serve as a useful starting point for an examination of the role and prospects of traditional authorities under the new (interim) constitution in South Africa. The responsibilities and powers the constitution ascribes to traditional leaders are considerably less than their representatives had lobbied for during the process of constitutional negotiation. This reflects the fact that chiefs in South Africa have historically played a highly ambiguous role, notably under the apartheid system, a minority roll call of honour of 'good chiefs' who resisted incorporation into the State's machinery of repression notwithstanding. The authors delineate the role of chiefs in South Africa in the 20th century, the emergence of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) in 1987, and its exclusion from Codesa, the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, in 1991. In view of Contralesa's subsequent strategic shift in focus from the national to the regional level, they explore local situations in the Eastern Cape and the former Transvaal, especially the former Lebowa bantustan of the new province of Eastern Transvaal, now renamed Mpumalanga. They conclude that if South Africa is to achieve mixed government, a fundamental transformation of the chieftaincy will be required. Bibliogr.