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Traditional chief not willing to step down

By Canaan Mdletshe | Oct 13, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE community of Eshowe on KwaZulu-Natal's North Coast is up in arms after a woman chief allegedly refused to step down.

THE community of Eshowe on KwaZulu-Natal's North Coast is up in arms after a woman chief allegedly refused to step down.

Ntombi Dube, who was elected to the position of chief after her husband died in 2003, is allegedly refusing to relinquish the position. She is the fifth chief to be elected democratically in the area.

In Eshowe a traditional leader is allegedly elected for a five-year term.Now the community says Dube's position is not hereditary.

Community leader Musa Ntshangase says they experienced problems soon after the death of Dube's husband, who had been a progressive traditional leader.

"Immediately after taking over Dube started abusing her powers. For instance, if a person who lost a relative does not have the means to bury that relative they normally go to the Mlalazi municipality and ask for assistance.

"The municipality normally asks for a letter from her as an inkosi, but Dube will not give needy persons such a letter," he says.

Ntshangase says now that Dube's term had expired she s refuses to relinquish her position. He says they have written to MEC for local government and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube (no relation) but have not had a positive response.

"All we asked for was a date for the new election, but we were told that the matter was receiving attention. We are sick and tired of that," he says.

Another community member and a policeman, Njabulo Xulu, says he was concerned that violence might erupt as emotions are now running high.

"People are very angry and want her out. If nothing is done sooner, the situation might get violent," Xulu says.

He says he has personally reported the matter to President Jacob Zuma's hotline and was promised a response in three weeks.

Dube rejects claims that she does not want to step down.

"As far as I am concerned the matter is now in the hands of the department. But I am concerned at the manner in which the matter has been handled.

"Not once have I been invited to any of the meetings," she says.

Departmental spokesperson Vernon Mchunu confirms the complaints.

"A report has just been finalised and recommendations are being studied. Necessary action will be taken in due course," he says.


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