Debate by: Mbongeleni Joshua Mazibuko; IFP MPL
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
KwaZulu-Natal Legislature; Pietermaritzburg
Hon. Speaker; allow me to begin by expressing the IFP’s gratitude to the Chairperson of the COGTA Portfolio Committee Hon. Swartbooi-Ntombela for an honest report she tabled before the Committee meeting. Hence, we accept her report without reservations.
The last sentence of the Chairperson’s report indicates that “the Select Committee did not accept the inputs from KwaZulu-Natal and no reasons were given for the non-acceptance.”
This statement then leaves the IFP with no option but to abstain from supporting this Bill. We are here to represent the people of KwaZulu-Natal. Therefore, we cannot support the Bill which ignores their inputs and without any explanation. In particular, there were inputs from Amakhosi of this Province who – through their Provincial Traditional House – raised a very fundamental concern, which we total share as the IFP.
The fundamental grave concerns raised by Amakhosi – which the IFP shares fully – is that this Bill is referred to as the “Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill.” This portrays the Khoi-San Leaders and communities as a distinct species from the Kings, Amakhosi and their communities who are found in this country.
The IFP wishes to state for the record that our position is that the Khoisan Traditional leaders and all Khoi-San communities are as African and indigenous as all of us. Like us, they owe their origin to this continent. We cannot therefore support attempts to make them a group of people standing apart from other Africans in this country. We welcome as part of the broader African family.
Hon. Speaker – although as the IFP, we are exercising our rights by abstaining – we wish to state that the principles and objectives of the Bill, in a broader sense, are noble. Indeed, the Bill is but a step in an arduous on-going struggle for the consummation of the war begun by our forebears, for the complete overthrow of all vestiges of colonialism, apartheid and neo-colonialism.
As people loyal to the very essence of being African, we do subscribe to the notion of hybridity, which acknowledges that there are elements of good in every culture, which can be emulated to enrich our indigenous cultures. However, we vehemently reject any notion which parades foreign cultures and civilizations; foreign forms of governance, thought, behaviour and ways of life as superior to those indigenous.
We reject any notion that Africa came to know of democracy and the rule of law only when colonial masters invaded and conquered this continent. To the contrary, African forms of democracy existed long before the advent of our conquerors.
Consequently, we will continue to forcefully resist all efforts by colonised minds that seek to foist upon us foreign forms of governance, thought and behaviour and ways of life under the pretext that culture is fluid and must change with times. Why must African cultures be the only ones that must change with times? If our cultures must change, that will be on our terms and pace!
This Bill therefore is one among the battles won thus far towards winning the war to restore Ubukhosi and all African forms of governance and to ensure that they are accorded treatment and respect they deserve as dictated by their indigeneity. Through this Bill and many other battles won thus far, we are yet again confirming that South Africa is part-and-parcel of Africa as opposed to being a European island on the continent of Africa. While embracing hybridity, we regard ourselves as Africans first-and-foremost.