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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Demise or Resilience, Customary Law and the Changing Order in Africa: The Case of Chieftaincy in Botswana
Author:Morapedi, Wazha G.ISNI
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:customary law
political history
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
Management, Public Administration
Manners and customs
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24483840
Abstract:This paper reviews customary law and how it relates to the institution of chieftainship in Botswana from the precolonial to the postcolonial period. It accedes to the widely held view that in Botswana, as in many other African countries where the institution of chieftainship was undermined by colonial rule, chiefs have survived and continue to play a pivotal role in evolving African societies. In Botswana, customary laws governing the institution of chieftainship, particularly succession rules, have enabled the institution to surmount the hurdles placed against chiefs by the colonial government. The latter's onslaught on chieftainship only weakened some chiefs, but not the institution. Since 1966 the postcolonial liberal democratic government of Botswana has continued to enact laws which whittled down the powers of the chiefs considerably, but the institution has adapted and chiefs have also managed to manipulate the political situation to their advantage. Today, due to the dynamism of customary law, chiefs play a pivotal role in the socioeconomic, political and administrative system of Botswana. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]