The eve of Heritage Day presents an opportunity to reflect on how history and its making influence contemporary laws and debates about custom. Legal arguments about chieftainship and customary rights and entitlements often make reference to the past. What is the place of historical research in litigation? How do we construct an accurate view of customary practices as they have evolved over time, in order to make arguments about customary law? And, where might we find the evidence to help us construct such a view?
Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/historical-evidence-custom/
Sep 08 2013
A plethora of bills and policies has been released in recent times that hold negative implications for the security of tenure of people living in rural areas. These policies and bills cover issues ranging from traditional leadership to communal tenure to land restitution and redistribution.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/new-policies-undermine-security-of-tenure/
Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/customary-status-of-ukuthwala-debated-since-19th-century/
Aug 16 2013
The protracted and bitter battle between the leaders of the Bakgatla baKgafela, based in South Africa and Botswana, has everything to do with the riches of the “tribe”* and little to do with genuine concern for the plight of their subjects, who continue to wallow in poverty.
Not so long ago Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela Kgafela II and his royal uncle Kgosi Nyalala Pilane were inseparable. The two were more than just blood relatives; they shared the same vision for Bakgatla in Botswana and South Africa. Kgafela was the supreme leader of Bakgatla both in Botswana and South Africa, while Kgosi Pilane was Kgafela’s right hand man overseeing the “tribe” in Moruleng, North West province, South Africa. Pilane was Kgafela’s funder, while Kgafela was his protector.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/pilane-kgafela-feud-exposes-chinks-in-bakgatla-administration/
Aug 05 2013
The cases of ukuthwala that have seized public attention over the last few years involve the violent abduction, and sometimes rape, of girls as young as 12 by older men. In addition to being illegal under criminal law, these abductions have been criticised by some scholars and traditional leaders for distorting the “real custom” of ukuthwala. Such criticisms allow advocates of custom to disavow these sensational cases without undermining the broader goal of both supporting customary law and, for traditional leaders, of asserting their own right to decide what counts as custom and what does not.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/ukuthwala-even-living-custom-must-be-developed-to-comply-with-constitution/