30 Apr 2019
by Thiyane Duda, Ayesha Motala, and Monica de Souza Louw
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Public Engagement on traditional leadership bills: What Parliament did well and where it was lacking

During Parliament’s fifth term, many Bills were introduced that bear a potentially significant impact on people living in rural areas or as part of traditional communities.

29 Apr 2019
by Peter Delius
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Why the ANC is bent on conferring colonial and apartheid-era rights on rural chiefs

Several bills before Parliament will entrench the colonial and apartheid-era powers given to often-illegitimate traditional leaders to exert absolute sway over their ‘subjects’. This includes control over land distribution and mining rights. It is the mining rights, in particular, that […]

28 May 2018
by Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti    
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Court orders tribal authority to act democratically:Traditional leadership can be compatible with democracy and the Constitution

Do traditional leaders have to consult with their community before litigating on their behalf? On 9 March 2018, a Mahikeng High Court judgment answered this question: yes, they do.

09 Apr 2018
by Aninka Claassens
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Elections trump land reform as panel report is put on back burner

At a time when debate about land reform and property rights is raging throughout South Africa, Parliament appears to have shelved the detailed report and recommendations of the High Level Panel (HLP) headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

17 Oct 2017
by Brendan Boyle
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Global news service flags rising community anger at miners and their allies

Reuters correspondent Ed Stoddard has taken a deep dive into the power politics of the politically connected elite that controls the revenues and opportunities that come with mining in rural areas and sees communities starting to test their strength. “A […]

29 Mar 2016
by Nolundi Luwaya
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Response to king’s actions may shape customary law

A number of commentators have sought to justify King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s actions against his subjects on the basis that he was acting as a judicial officer.  Court records show the king failed to convene a customary court to hear and […]

13 Oct 2015
by Dr Aninka Claassens
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Back to the bad old days

A Bill currently before parliament promises overdue recognition for Khoisan communities and their leaders. In fact, however, the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill is a smokescreen for entrenching autocratic traditional councils, which have dodged fiscal and democratic accountability for more […]