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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The clash of ideologies: notions of multiparty (liberal) democracy versus African systems
Author:Mulaudzi, Phalandwa Abraham
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Geographic term:South Africa
traditional rulers
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18186874.2017.1333310
Abstract:In South Africa traditional leaders, 'aka' (also known as) chiefs or collaborators, had hoped that the new liberation political environment would retain and safeguard their deeply embedded cultural practices and values, which had existed for centuries, but had been partly violated during the colonial era. However, the new liberation era brought with it notions of liberal democracy - characterised by concepts of meritorious selections, based on democratic elections -, a practice that further marginalised and frustrated hereditary cultural norms and practices, upon which the pillars and identities of each ethnic group or community were based. In discussing the complex and interlocking interests, epochs of colonial and postcolonial experience, the introduction of 'foreign' meritorious notions that dispensed with the craved hereditary positions, the chiefs, traditional leaders and former collaborators appear to have been forced to abandon the liberation project and take up the issue of their survival as custodians of customs and chiefdoms; even against the messaging coming from the new political classes. Inevitably, this has created new tensions in the political governance of urban and rural communities, by elected officials who have either failed or succeeded to coopt traditional leaders. This article argues for a balance between democracy and traditional leadership that can inform modern electoral processes and modernise the cultural practices and eliminate unnecessary conflict and tensions. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]