KwaZulu-Natal history of traditional leadership project: final report

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.F.Houston, T.Mbele
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 7852

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As a concept, 'traditional leadership' is a highly contested term in South Africa. Some analysts see traditional leadership as multi-layered and having broader scope than leadership of a community as an entity. This means that traditional leadership refers to ubukhosi, ubuduna, abanumzane, and izibonda. In terms of this broader scope of use still others regard it as including izinyanga, izangoma (which are healers), and amagosa (which are leaders of sections of communities based on age and sex) practitioners who lead the communities in certain fields of expertise (project workshop discussion held on the 15th May 2009). Of course there is contestation on these views as some feel that the latter meaning of traditional leadership is stretching the concept too far. However, it is true that traditional leadership is more than the most senior person leading the community on the basis of local normative authority inkosi. Thus it is important that this project indicates that its focus is largely on amakhosi.