Amakhosi from various tribal houses within the Ugu District attended a five-day workshop at Desroches Hotel in Margate last week.
The workshop was co-ordinated by the South African Judicial Education Institute (Sajei), Cogta and the National House of Traditional Leaders.
Inkosi Thembinkosi Mavundla, who sits on the national Executive Committee of traditional leaders, said the aim of the workshop was to train male and female Amakhosi about judicial procedures in their tribal courts.
Mavundal said the decision to have this training programme was taken after it was raised that they lack the skills when it comes to making judgment in cases involving the rights of people as per the Bill of Right and the Constitution and when it comes to civil and criminal cases.
“The chief justice realised there was a need for training Amakhosi as judicial advocates, therefore Sajei included the Amakhosi in its training schedule,” he said.
Chief magistrate and Cluster head of judicial administration in Region 6, Bhekumthetho Ngubane, said the training focuses on two important aspects - giving information about basic traditional civil court procedures and basic traditional court criminal procedures.
“These procedures are being dealt with in terms of Section 12 and 20 of the Black Administration Act 38/1927, which is still in force and which will also, according to the Act of 2012 be abolished once the new Traditional Courts Bill is passed and signed by the president,” said Bhekumthetho.
Ngubane said judgment writing, ethics, ubuntu, customary marriages, culture versus religion were also some of the topics discussed.
“Professor Sihawu Ngubane of University of KwaZulu-Natal gave a presentation highlighting two important issues - the role that traditional leaders should look into, cases of maintenance, domestic violence, harassment, child court and the Child Justice Act matters, which are matters Amakhosi normally pass onto the magistrate’s court,” said Bhekumthetho.
The speakers encouraged good working relationships between the police, traditional leaders and magistrates.
Inkosi Mboneni Mjoli of Ebuhlebezwe tribal court in Ixopo said they learnt that as Amakhosi they have to look presentable at all times.
“If we look presentable, we will be respected by our people,” he said.
Inkosi Ncamcile Dlamini said she encourages Amakhosi, who never attended, to be part of the next one.
“We thank stakeholders involved in this training for sharing this information as it will be of value to us as leaders in our tribal courts, and as women tribal leaders we send a message to other female Amakhosi to be part of these programmes because they are educational,” said Dlamini.
The next Amakhosi training will be held at the end of August.