City Press on the 24 February 2019

In this article published in City Press, Senior Researcher in the Humanity Faculty, Dan Motaung unpacks the contentious role of traditional leaders in a democracy ahead of MISTRA’s publication launch on Traditional Leaders in a Democracy: Resources, Respect and Resistance.

He argues that few would deny the impact of the institution of traditional leadership on the lives of the majority of South Africans, especially in the rural areas such as KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. However, the institution has also been linked to controversies across different sectoral interests, around chieftaincy succession; claims to land; business deals with mining companies without the consent of communities; or the invocation of some contested notions of traditional powers (or even recasting oral history) for current material interests.