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woman chief dents egos

By unknown | Jun 11, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The constitutional court ruled in favour of women chiefs - but a group calling themselves "the disgruntled" couldn't care less.

"It is against our tradition to have a female chief," spokesman for the group Ishmael Risivi told Sowetan.

"We don't care about her victory from the highest court of the land."

Risivi was referring to the constitutional court ruling that women may be chiefs after Lwandlamuni Felia Shiluvhana challenged the installation of her male cousin.

"We believe he who would be chief should be installed according to the tradition and customs of the Valoyi tribe and not through a piece of paper," Risivi said.

The chieftaincy wrangle has been raging since 2001 and came to a head on Sunday when residents from the 38 villages of the Nwamitawa clan welcomed Felia as the new chief of the Valoyi tribe.

Two head of cattle were slaughtered but the celebrations didn't stop a group led by Felia's cousin, Sydwell N'wamtwa, from enjoying their own party 200 metres from the royal council .

When things started to get out of hand the police were called but even their presence did not deter the proceedings .

"We were playing our own music and trying to chart our way forward for our own inauguration later this year," Risivi said yesterday.

He said "the disgruntled" were against the court's ruling declaring Felia a chief.

"She is married to the Shiluvhana family," he said.

"How will she be able to to discharge her marriage and leadership responsibilities at the same time?"

But Felia, an ANC bigwig and MP, said at her rural house that no amount of power and groupings would prevent her from leading her community.

"We are continuing with the inauguration in August without fear from individuals whose aim is known only to them," she said.


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