While felicitating with the newly elected ANC leaders, the South African traditional leaders have warned the new leaders not to forget their promises at the time they were trying to solicit for their support.
Chief Mathibela Mokoena‚ the president of Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) related this to the governing party and reminding them of their ordeal with the outgone leaders.
“As traditional leaders‚ we are waiting for the government to tell us what they are planning to do about taking back the land‚ not these silly tactics of disrespecting us. We are against this resolution of theirs. If they lack the strategy to deal with the big issue‚ they must consult us‚” Mokoena said, accusing the ANC of playing politics with the issue of land.
“We have enough wisdom and a strategy on how to take back the land. They must stop bullying traditional leaders. We are not the enemy and they can’t wish us away. Most things go wrong because they are scared of speaking truth to power‚ the real land that our fathers fought for is still not ours.”
Mokoena claimed that the ANC interference in the communal land custodianship is an act of biting the hand that feeds it. “Come elections‚ they get the most votes from communities that are under traditional leaders. They must not forget. We deserve to be recognised and respected as important role players in this country. All we ask is for them to consult us before making misleading announcements‚ because one day we will get tired of this treatment‚ I don’t know what we will do then‚” he said.
The Contralesa scathing attack on the ANC follows the new ANC president’s inaugural speech that ended the 54th annual conference that struggled to end on December 20th.
Ramaphosa’s closing remark had the ANC further making promises to facilitate the land reform policy to ensure South Africa remains in peace.
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC top 6 and the members of the National Executive Council (NEC) will be at its best in restoring the people’s hope in the party and to ensure that the country’s economy is rebuilt.
The NEC also resolved that it would reduce the authority of traditional leaders over communal land‚ with the goal of eventually giving communities 13% of lands.
Ths decision has been criticised as being not too good as it would still not ensure that lands are returned to the real owners.
“It’s more of the same. It’s actually disappointing. Land rights are still denied to the individual. You either transfer the title to the individual or a group‚” Claassens said.
“A community like the council of traditional leaders is a group‚ so there is no difference. What they must do is empower the individual‚ give rights and titles to the individual, ” Dr Aninka Claassens suggests.