South Africa President Jacob Zuma should not be given or allowed powers to manipulate traditional leaders for personal political gain. There is a plan to make traditional courts the only option for millions of South Africans by denying access to civil courts.
The traditional leaders scattered around South Africa are indirectly being influenced by Zuma to help control local citizens vote for the African National Congress (ANC) party in the 2016 local elections. The tribal chiefs are lobbying for the ANC support all in exchange for an ability to deliver rural vote. It is ironic that the South Africa democratic government is moving toward realising the goals of the former apartheid government. It is all about the ANC building an extensive support base throughout South Africa. The traditional leadership is very patriarchal and conservative. Women have no rights.
It would be better for such powers to be given to the impartial body, like a public protector. It is incorrect to assign somebody who is guilty, to make a judgment on other people. There will be no fair justice under Zuma.
Ordinary people who fall into a tribal community cannot put in a land claim, this is done by the tribal chief, who opposed the granting of title deeds on communal land to the people. The sole reason for note allowing people to own land is that ordinary citizens would apply for bank loans and use the title deeds as security. The chiefs are wary of people defaulting on loans, and the land being attached to the banks. The people will not own the land and the tribal chief will hold all the power over the tribal clans of South Africa.
During 2007 Zuma, ousted former president Thabo Mbeki with the backing of traditional leaders who at that time were powerless under the ANC government. All this has changed, and the tribal leaders have credibility and plenty of power among tribal chiefdoms who remain aligned to Zuma.
There is a new cultural trend emerging in South Africa as several ANC parliamentarians are tribal chiefs lobby to have the clause protecting gay and lesbians from discrimination removed from the constitution. The outright labelling of unmarried women as a problem by Zuma and polygamous lifestyle of the president has set a new example. The cultural rights of women are daunted by tribal customs quite clearly defining males as the ultimate superior species. Zuma calls for women to be placed in prominent positions within government and the private sector of South Africa. Zuma want women to be recognized as a valuable contribution to society, yet tribal chiefs frown upon women’s rights creating a conflicting situation between both male and female equivalents.
This is not a Zulu or even a Zuma thing, it is a universal or age-old paraphernalia that has in the past uplifted people and leaders only to set them on a warlike expedition against other cultural groups in South Africa and neighboring countries. The domination will crash and another round of rule will begin. In South Africa, this could happen soon based on the entitled voting people who did not cast a vote in the last general election.
The ANC and Zuma depend on the strength in the rural areas, the uneducated and poor citizens to cast a vote in favor of the party during South Africa elections. Zuma encourages tribal leaders to make land claims on behalf of the community. Zuma and traditional leaders will ignite a land claim spanning through the land and in all probably, tribal chiefs will own most of the land in South Africa. Corruption is a key factor and based on the level of good governance of the ANC, land claims will once again fall under the national pastime of South Africa – bribery.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
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