Book on struggle of the amakhosi

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal opened a new chapter in the history of the institution of traditional leadership with a booklet that chronicles its transformation.

The department of local government, housing and traditional affairs has been instrumental in transforming the institution over the past five years. District houses of traditional leaders and a provincial house of traditional leaders have been established.

The booklet was launched at a function at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Wednesday evening.

The booklet is the first of its kind in the country and records the transformation of the institution in KwaZulu-Natal and its alignment with democratically-elected structures.

The event was attended by Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini, chairperson of the house of traditional leaders Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Premier Sbu Ndebele, local government, housing and traditional affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and University of KwaZulu-Natal academics.

Some of the academics have contributed to the booklet.

King Zwelithini praised the provincial government for working hard to ensure that the amakhosi received the recognition and respect they deserved.

"I'm pleased that our government recognised amakhosi. Traditional leaders had suffered immensely during colonialism and apartheid.

"It is now our responsibility not to fail those who came before us, who fought against the destruction of our institutions," he said.

Buthelezi was disappointed that much had been done to transform the institution, but that the house of traditional leaders still operated without a budget.

"We cannot hold meetings without the department approving the budget. The new legislative arrangements seem intent on destroying and abolishing traditional authorities, leaving traditional councils with no administrative capacity."