Traditional leaders roles clarified

2016-03-04 06:00

COUNCILLORS should not think they are above traditional leaders and can diminish the role of traditional leadership.

Councillors must remember they are elected as leaders for a five-year term and must allow traditional leaders to remain in their position.

ANC national spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, sounded the warning during an ANC Alfred Nzo Round Table discussion with traditional leaders, church leaders and ANC members at Maluti Civic Centre on Saturday.

“It is important to respect the authority­ of traditional leaders and councillors must realise they ‘do not have people’, people are ruled by traditional leaders and this is important from a leadership point of view because we are manufacturing problems that do not exist” said Kodwa.

Traditional leaders used to complain that the ANC government had failed to initiate the legislative process to give meaning and content to the constitutional provision relating to the role of traditional leadership.

They complained that the Municipal Structures Act did not provide for the role of traditional authorities in local government, but Kodwa clarified that traditional leaders have a important role to play and councillors must work with them.

He urged ANC councillors to stop fighting with traditional leaders and churches because they are important stakeholders to them as an organisation.
“We want churches and traditional leaders to play a meaningful role in leading our people.”

He cautioned ANC members, who want to lead at community level, even though the community does not see them as quality leaders.

“As ANC we don’t want leaders who are not trusted by the people and we don’t want leaders campaigning for themselves to lead. If you are a real leader, you can’t say ‘it is my time to lead’ without being chosen by the people and such people are dangerous to our organisation,” said Kodwa.

He asked ANC candidates to step aside if communities do not want to select them as councillors.

This he said after a fierce fight between ANC members over the selection of council candidates preparing the upcoming local government elections.

Alfred Nzo Regional Council of Churches co-ordinator, Mawande Lugongolo, said they are happy and comfortable with the relationship with ANC and traditional leaders.

Lugongolo said however, they are not happy with the infighting at ANC branch general meetings.

“We read in the newspaper that police were called to calm ANC members fighting among themselves. We ask them to stop fighting among themselves,” said Lugongolo.

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