Kingship claims to continue

THE Moleleki Commission says it will continue processing the kingship claims of South African traditional leaders.

The assurance came yesterday after traditional leaders raised concerns that their claims would not be processed since the commission's term of office ends at the end of October.

Prince Melizwe Dlamini of the Nhlangwini Traditional Council, who was one of the claimants, told Sowetan that he had written to President Jacob Zuma asking him to extend the date for the commission so that it could process his application, failing which, he would approach the high court.

Yesterday commission chief executive Mpho Mokake told Sowetan the process would continue.

He said they had informed the claimants that their contracts ends in October, but that does not "automatically mean that we will wind off and stop the claims".

"It is true that we will not be able to finish processing all the applications before the end of October.

"As a result, we have asked President Jacob Zuma to extend our term and we are waiting for the response," Mokake said.

"In terms of the law, the president can extend the term so that all the claims are processed," he said.

The commission was appointed by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2003 to investigate the disputes of traditional leaders. Some of them wanted their status to be elevated to that of Zulu king.

Mokake said the commission had dealt with paramount chiefs' positions and that many applications for senior traditional leaders' positions were still outstanding.

Senior traditional leaders were previously known as chiefs and the name had to be changed because traditional leaders felt that was a colonial term.