Are traditional leaders a help or hindrance to rural democracy?
Government believes system is a necessary link to local communities
When the term of the fifth National House of Traditional Leaders ended earlier in August, President Jacob Zuma said in an address to them that there was "undoubtedly a lot that politicians can learn" from traditional leaders. "In my various engagements with you as members of the National House of Traditional Leaders, I found your demeanour, style and manner of engagement compelling and robust, yet honest, focused and constructive," Zuma said. "You would surely remember during the debate this year how I commended you for your constructive manner of engagement, unlike how politicians often engage, which is usually acrimonious with a view of scoring cheap political points. "Traditional kings and senior leaders largely play a ceremonial role in the country and wield little political power. However, traditional leaders are instrumental in terms of resolving local disputes and providing advice to government." Few people would have taken note of the work done by the National House of Tradi...