King has final word

2012-04-28 15:05

At a meeting in Mthatha, on the second day of hearings on the Traditional Courts Bill, the King of the AbaThembu rose to speak. Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who was convicted of culpable homicide, arson, kidnapping and assault against his “subjects”, simply said: “When something is supported by me it is supported by everyone . . . I am in full support of this bill and so are all those under me. As for those who do not support this bill, they surely then fall under the other chiefs and not me.

“As a descendant of the one from above, I urge you all to embrace and support this bill . . . Let it become the law that governs us.”

The chairperson then closed the meeting, saying: “Since the chief has spoken we will now have all submissions in writing. We cannot carry on after him as this would be disrespectful.”

And that was that.

Hearings in this predominantly rural province began on Monday in a hall in Queenstown. On Tuesday in Lusikisiki, hearings were held at the teacher’s training college, where most speakers spoke in support of the proposed legislation, some hoping the proposed traditional courts would bring development to the area. Chairperson Xolile Nqata, head of the portfolio committee on local government and traditional affairs, said, after overseeing 16 hours of hearings in Mdantsane on Thursday: “This is not a good bill . . . it has all the potential to cause conflict and raise tension in communities. People’s lived experiences in this province at the hands of chiefs are not always good. I hope this bill doesn’t go through. I am against this law as matter of principle.”

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