Committee to resolve traditional disputes in Mpuma

Thursday, September 8, 2011
By: 
Masoka Dube

Mbombela - Only 10 of the 140 traditional leadership disputes that date as far back as 1927 in Mpumalanga have been resolved.

To fast-track the cases, Premier David Mabuza and the Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders (MHTL) have launched the Provincial Committee on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims.

"We have 130 cases that are currently pending, so the committee will help facilitate the process. Many traditional leaders who were removed from their thrones by colonialists have applied to claim back their leadership," said MHTL chairman Inkosi Sipho Mahlangu.

Mahlangu said the 10 cases that have been resolved were handled by the national committee tasked with the same mandate.

He said given the backlog, there was a need for a provincial committee, which would serve for a period of five years.

"I believe that the committee will be able to execute its task in time so that all the leaders who are in dispute over their land and other related cases will get peace of mind," said Mahlangu.

Committee members were selected based on their knowledge of anthropology, genealogy of tribes, their legal minds, research abilities, academic achievements and integrity.

They are expected to investigate and make recommendations on contested traditional leadership claims, positions and disputes dating from 1 September 1927.

They will determine whether traditional leadership was established in line with customary laws and customs.

They will also consider applications from communities that seek to be recognised as traditional or tribal authorities and determine the legitimacy of the establishment or disestablishment of tribes.

The committee will further consider disputes around boundaries as a result of merging or division of tribes.

Gender related disputes arising after 27 April 1994 will also be considered.

Mabuza promised that the committee would not replace the role of royal families on matters of succession.

"As a province, we believe that royal families are in a position to assist in resolving a lot of these disputes, we must therefore allow them to fully apply their wisdom on some of these matters," he said.

The full time committee members are Advocate Simon Mahlangu, Magizi Zitha, Jozi Thwala, Maphisana Nxumalo, and Glory Fakude. Part time members are Fisana Mdluli and Mangena Ndlala.

One of the cases that the committee has been tasked to prioritise involves the dispute between Inkosi Malaza and Inkosi Dlamini over a boundary at Embuleni in Badplaas. - BuaNews