The Zulu monarch did not specify how amakhosi and izinduna were abusing women.
But late last year‚ it emerged that the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) and traditional leaders were forcing women residents on land under its control to sign leases through male proxies‚ in effect removing their rights to own land.
The unlawful practice came to light in an application filed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court by the Legal Resources Centre‚ on behalf of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution‚ the Rural Women’s Movement and seven informal land rights holders. They were challenging the conversion of informal land rights to long-term lease agreements.
Rural Women’s Movement chairperson Sizani Ngubane said in her affidavit that the rights of women were undermined by some amakhosi and the board‚ who demanded the leases be signed by a man.
“I have also heard of cases where the ITB or the inkosi insists that the lease must be in the name of whatever man they find on the property‚ because they assume that a man must always be the household head. This creates great difficulties if the man is just a boyfriend of the woman who owns and has established the property‚’’ she said.
Ngubane said she had also come across a number of cases in which widows had been evicted from family homes by their sons‚ who had signed leases‚ and their wives‚ because of internal family disputes.
“The action of the ITB perpetuates the ideology of male dominance‚” she said.
Source: TMG Digital.