Traditional leaders warn ANC Mangaung delegates
EASTERN Cape traditional leaders have called on provincial ANC delegates to be a united force at the Mangaung conference.
"In the build up to the Mangaung conference, we have seen many ugly things happen in ANC branch meetings, with chairs flying and blows exchanged due to differences that could have been sorted out differently," said Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders chairman Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima yesterday.
"This is not the scene we would love to play out at the national conference of the ANC. Peace must prevail and unity must rule."
Matanzima conveyed his message to ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane on Wednesday and warned delegates not to do anything that would incur the wrath of the ancestors.
Matanzima said delegates must also present policies that respected the role of traditional leaders.
"We are looking anxiously on policies that will come out confirming the role of traditional leaders - a sound role we can play in democratic society.
"[We are] looking forward to policies on land and strategies to return it to the rightful owners.
"We don't want the recurrence of the Zimbabwe land grab in South Africa. We are also looking at polices on food production," Matanzima said.
Congress of Traditional Leaders president Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa expected the conference to examine some of the laws which had a bearing on the institution of traditional leaders.
Holomisa and Matanzima said the ANC conference must take cognisance of the fact that next year would mark the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the 1913 Native Land Act.
"This was the act which legalised the dispossession of Africans of 87% of South Africa's land mass through the colonial wars of resistance. Though it has since been repealed, the legacy of the act continues to manifest itself in the proliferation of squatter settlements on the outskirts of the nation's major cities as well as the over-crowded conditions in the communal areas, where poverty and underdevelopment characterise the life of the African population," said Holomisa.
"This is the act that precipitated the formation of the ANC in 1912 through the collaboration of the clergy, educationists and traditional leaders."
Last week, the congress called for four traditional leaders who are ANC members to be elected into the party's national executive committee.