Traditional leaders 'have no power'

2012-05-11 22:10

Durban - Traditional leaders are finding it difficult to play a role in local government, IFP President Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Friday in Ulundi.

"A limited number of pre-identified traditional leaders are allowed to attend and participate in council meetings, but do not carry the authority of councillors."

Buthelezi said traditional leaders wanted their responsibilities and powers spelled out, just as those of municipalities.

"Traditional leaders have become ceremonial figures in local governance, barred from taking any decisions or even having a vote in the decision-making process."

Buthelezi said there was a problem of overlapping responsibilities and a lack of clear description of roles.

"In the absence of a framework that allows real partnership, there is little that can be achieved."

If the roles of both parties were not defined there would be continuous clashes between municipalities and traditional leaders, he warned.

  • Motho - 2012-05-11 22:20


  • Chaapo - 2012-05-11 23:41

    Theirs is really a ceremonial role so accept that reality.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-12 00:00

    Hmm, well for all their powerlessness, they know how to rake in the bucks. In another post, someone pointed out how the pension given to his domestic was reduced by half because the 'traditional leader' demanded his 50% cut when she returned home. And FYI of the Zulu Royal Household budget of just more than R55-million for 20011/12, R34,2m is to be used over the next three years to renovate palaces. Tradition seems to be pretty powerful stuff

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-12 00:13

    The Traditional Leader has only one role, and that is to keep his people voting for the ANC. For this the Traditional Leader receives a lot of money.

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-12 00:19

      Well that and keeping the interior design industry in business

  • Nico - 2012-05-12 00:26

    So in 2012 we still have so called "Traditional Leaders" demanding a say? Maybe they should stand for an election? Should the Zulu king n ot be paid for by the Zulu people and not taxpayers!

  • Innocent - 2012-05-12 01:14

    Dr MG Buthelezi , if Tradiction leaders are intergrated to our current politics they will be widrawal to fundamental of tradiction leader.

  • marais.adriaan - 2012-05-12 06:28

    They say they have no power! I say it's a good thing. Recent comment by these leaders over gay rights prove that they are out of touch with reality and society. To my mind they have no place in governance whatsoever.

      Dee - 2012-05-12 13:54

      Indeed Marais. Had they taken a stand on e.g. Rhino extinction; rampant rape; or any other REAL issue of our society they might have had a modicum of credibility.

  • Johann - 2012-05-12 07:06

    Please tell me what role must they play , I tought we were a costitunaul state and we are constitual law ,are we going back to the days of Shaka and HinstaGod forbid no wonder Inkahta have become a small player in politics

  • marumobongani - 2012-05-12 07:08

    do we need a swaziland situation no!so this is no place for your crap tradition and modern society does not mix tradition not that I dont respect tradition but I feel it would not be tradition if mingled with government

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-05-12 07:22

    Ok Mangosuthu, you say that traditional leaders have no clearly-defined role? Let me put it as clearly as possible.\r\nThey have no special powers. They are merely ceremonial leaders who may pose for photographs with tourists.\r\nIs it not enough that they are receiving a government grant (correction : taxpayer's grant) to maintain their upkeep and their multiple wives and children, grandchildren, great grandchildren ...

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-05-12 09:11

      Bloody hell, next their going to claim Elizabeth-II rules England.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-05-12 07:48

    Lesotho tries desperately to preserve their role. Every application for a publhc service (passport issuance, government bursary etc) or to Banks and licensed credit providers must be accompanied by a Reference from one's local chief ('Lengolo la Morena' as it's known). Kinda silly since most young people in urban areas dont even know their chiefs

  • Lara - 2012-05-12 08:06

    That damn Eskom again.

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-05-12 08:15

    Traditional leaders??? Who gives them the right to say they don't have a place in government. Its like a traditional healer saying he is a doctor. Earn your place on the board then you can go ahead and talk sh@t and steal.

  • SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-05-12 09:15

    In one article people cry about the homeland system being evil. In this one they cry the leaders of their beloved homeland has no power. Have you seen how many people go to their "land" over the holidays?

  • Nkosinathi Shane Mashele - 2012-05-12 10:26

    As deKlerk said South Africa democracy is solid but unhealthy.

  • billidp - 2012-05-12 11:39

    So is THAT why they are trying to get the SA Constitution changed to the detriment of LGBTI??? Think homos are an easy target? Long may it remain that they have no say - this is the 21st century and you need to change with the times, traditional leaders or not... Oh, and by the way, Traditional Leaders can lead their people asm much as they want, BUT... I am not one of their tribal members... SA is a Country not a tribe!

  • Archie - 2012-05-12 12:35

    Homelands dont belong in the new RSA.All homeland teritories must belong to the government,We currently run 9 provinces and all the homelands and petty little kingdoms at the taxpayers cost.If these tribes want kingdoms let them pay the kings household and all his fancy wives and cars.I want my money to contribute to growth, not pomp and ceremony and leopard skins and dozens of wives

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-12 14:04

    They may not have any power, but they sure have a lot of clout.

  • George - 2012-05-12 17:27

    Welcome to Western democracy where there is no place for traditional leaders. Something you missed at CODESA! If you want traditional rule you need to have your homelands too!

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