"One chief, one vote" : the revival of traditional authorities in post-apartheid South Africa

Title"One chief, one vote" : the revival of traditional authorities in post-apartheid South Africa
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsW.M.J.van Kessel, and B.M. Oomen
EditorE.A.B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal, and R.A. van Dijk
Secondary TitleAfrican chieftaincy in a new socio-political landscape
Pagination155 - 179
Date Published1999///
PublisherLit Verlag
Place PublishedHamburg
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, chieftaincy, democracy, political change, politics, South Africa

Rather than being phased out as relics of premodern times, chiefs are reasserting themselves in postapartheid South Africa. They demanded and obtained constitutional guarantees for their position and their representation in the local, provincial and national administration. The first part of this article is a brief survey of the changing perspectives on chieftaincy within the ANC and its allied movements such as the UDF, and the part played by the ANC-aligned organization of chiefs, Contralesa, launched in 1987, in it. Next, the position of traditional chiefs during the present transition period is treated by comparing their position in both the interim constitution and the final constitution. The last part presents a case study in the Northern Province (formerly the Northern Transvaal), a province with a high proportion of chiefs since it incorporates three former bantustans. The revival of traditional leaders in postapartheid South Africa can be ascribed to their ability to combine the resource of tradition with appeals to Western models and the discourse of liberation politics. The case study shows that urban, educated elites also played a central role in the invention of the postapartheid tradition of chieftaincy. Bibliogr., notes, ref

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/4715
Citation Key2348