The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature is vindicated by recent developments whereby the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that Inkosi Skhosiphi Mdluli of KwaNyavu must be reinstated to his position.
The IFP congratulates the KwaNyavu Clan on the reinstatement of their Inkosi, following a long battle with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government after Inkosi Mdluli was stripped of his title in December 2020 by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier.
This matter seems to indicate that government is hell-bent on fighting with Amakhosi, and creating animosity amongst the families of Amakhosi regarding the issue of appointing Inkosi. It is unfortunate that those Amakhosi who cannot afford to take government to court due to financial constraints are defeated by government, which has the financial capacity to fight battles in court.
This further exposes the intentions of some government officials who seem to be instigating a fight between government and Amakhosi, by giving the MEC for COGTA and the provincial Cabinet skewed information. Cabinet then takes decisions based on information supplied by officials with ulterior motives that seek to obliterate traditional leadership in order to strengthen their respective narrow political interests. This results in government spending large amounts of taxpayers’ money in court fighting with Amakhosi.
We have also witnessed this in a case involving the Mdletshe Clan, the KZN Premier, and KZN MEC for COGTA, where the court ruled against the apparent irregular appointment of Zolani Mdletshe as Inkosi of the Mdletshe Traditional Community. It seems that officials are in cahoots with a certain faction of the Mdletshe family, where senior leaders like Mr Mhlanganyeleni Mdletshe (induna), a senior member of the Mdletshe family and Clan was excluded deliberately from participating in the negotiations concerning a traditional leadership dispute in the Mdletshe Traditional Community. The provincial government in this matter has failed to implement the court decision.
The reinstatement of Inkosi Mdluli to his position must be a wake-up call to the KZN provincial government. Government must follow due process. Amakhosi are not appointed according to a CV – they are born into their role and the family knows who should rightfully be appointed as Inkosi. External interference in the appointment of Amakhosi must stop.
We have frequently raised our concerns about the Department of COGTA in KwaZulu-Natal, which to date has spent R7.4 million in legal battles with Amakhosi over leadership disputes during the past seven years. This legal action by the KZN MEC for COGTA – spending millions in Court – makes no sense.
Amakhosi – as Traditional Leaders – are a central part of Traditional Affairs, which are a central part of COGTA. It therefore seems that the COGTA MEC has declared war against his own entity and that he is attempting to undermine Amakhosi. Further, it appears that the COGTA MEC is biased, especially when it comes to leadership disputes.
Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842