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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Democracy compromised: chiefs and the politics of the land in South Africa
Author:Ntsebeza, LungisileISNI
Series:Afrika-Studiecentrum series
City of publisher:Leiden
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:indirect rule
customary law
land law
Abstract:This book offers a historical analysis of the embattled structures of rural local governance in South Africa, with specific reference to the role of traditional authorities in Xhalanga in the Eastern Cape. More specifically, the book illustrates how at least in the Xhalanga district chieftainship was contested from the establishment of the district in 1865 to the advent of democracy in South Africa. Two related themes are addressed: the question of the survival of traditional authorities up to the postcolonial/apartheid era and the question of how traditional authorities derive their authority and legitimacy. The book shows that the survival of traditional authorities can be linked directly to their control of the land allocation process, rather than popular support. The issue of the legitimacy of traditional authorities, especially in a democracy, is investigated against the background of the tension in the 1993 Interim Constitution and the 1996 Constitution, which recognized the institution of traditional leadership. These constitutions, along with emerging post-1994 legislation, advocated a form of democracy that was based on the liberal principles of representation at all levels of government, including local government, while, at the same time, recognizing a hereditary institution of traditional leadership for rural residents. [ASC Leiden abstract]