Chieftancy, the Ethnic Question and the Democratisation Process in South Africa

This paper examines the institution of traditional leadership in South Africa. It details the abuse of chieftaincy as an instrument in exploitation in Africa and focuses on how chieftaincy played an crucial part in implementing the bantustan policy. Zola Skweyiya warns, though, against being blind and insensitive to the influence and authority of traditional leaders in South Africa. He discusses chieftaincy and local government and ultimately asks the question as to whether traditional leadership can be "moulded to entrench, stabilise and legitimise democracy, especially at local level". Zola Skweyiya went on to become a Minister of Public Administration (1994 - 1999), Minister of Social Development (1999-2009) and High Commissioner to Great Britain.