Constitutional Hill

Do members of traditional communities have any democratic rights?

The Constitution recognises the institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to customary law, but requires that this be done in conformity with the other provisions in the Constitution. This is not an easy task, as traditional leadership is, by definition, undemocratic and hence not easily reconcilable with the democratic ethos of the Constitution. In a recent Constitutional Court judgment, sharp divisions emerged between the justices about the constitutional rights of the members of a traditional community who are unhappy with what they see as the authoritarian and nepotistic actions of the recognised traditional leadership of their Traditional Community. 

In Pilane and Another v Pilane and Another the applicants — residents of the Motlhabe village, one of 32 villages that comprise the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Traditional Community in the Pilansberg area of North West Province – challenged a High Court decision to grant three interdicts that restrained them from convening a meeting to discuss possible secession of the Motlhabe village from the Traditional Community and from passing themselves off as recognised traditional leaders. They wanted to secede because they claimed resources did not reach their village but are used for the benefit of those loyal to the Traditional Council and the Kgosi. The secession claim might also have been fueled by a longstanding leadership dispute about who was the true headman of the Motlhabe village.

After receiving advice from two government officials from the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs that an application to secede had to be made to, and could be granted by, the Premier in terms of the Framework Act and the North West Act, the applicants decided to invite the residents of the Motlhabe village, as well as four neighbouring villages, to a meeting to discuss the matter. Reading between the lines, this was seen as a direct challenge to the authority of the senior traditional leader or Kgosi of the Traditional Community.

What happened next does not sound like something that one would expect to happen in a democracy: a member of the South African Police Service telephoned the first applicant and advised that he would be arrested if the meeting took place. Respect for freedom of speech and assembly within the framework of the South African law, was not something the Police and Kgosi was going to countenance.  The meeting was then cancelled. Because of a miscommunication the Kgosi approached the High Court for an interdict, believing the meeting would go ahead. As the majority in the Constitutional Court (per Skweyiya J – Moseneke DCJ, Cameron J, Froneman J, Jafta J, Khampepe J, Van der Westhuizen J and Zondo J concurring) explained:

The gravamen of the respondents’ complaint in the High Court was that the applicants were meeting to further what the respondents characterised as an unlawful attempt to secede from the Traditional Community.

The respondents argued that the applicants wanted to call a Kgotha Kgothe – a traditional gathering at which members of a traditional community publicly debate and decide on matters affecting the community, which may include evaluating and criticising the performance of their leaders. They claimed a Kgotha Kgothe may only be convened by the Kgosi or his authorised appointee, like a Kgosana. The applicants disagreed, claiming that it may be convened either at a village or traditional community level and may be convened either by the appointed Kgosana or by the community itself in the absence of the Kgosana where he fails to convene a Kgotha Kgothe. In any case, they said, they wanted to convene a community meeting to discuss secession, which is not the same as a Kgotha Kgothe.

As the majority pointed out, where such a dispute of fact on the papers arise, the a court is obliged (because of the Plascon-Evans rule) to decide the matter on the basis of the averments of the applicants (the repondents in the original High Court application). This is important because if we assume that the applicants had a right to convene a Kgotha Kgothe in terms of customary law, the respondents would be unable to show that they had a clear right that was being threatened and no interdict could be granted to stop their opponents from meeting. On this point alone the High Court was therefore wrong to grant the interdict.

Although this should have been the end of the matter, the majority also addressed the argument that those who organised the meeting tried to pass themselves off as the legitimate traditional leaders of the region by appropriating the identity, authority or powers of the respondents. The argument was that if they did do so, the rights of the respondents would be threatened and the granting of an interdict would have been justified. However, the majority pointed out that:

Both the contents and context of the invitation could only have portrayed the applicants, being would-be secessionists, in a way that emphasised the distinction between them and the respondents…. [T]he terms and tenor of their attempted meeting, as contained in this invitation, speak to the very disassociation from the respondents that they seek.

According to the majority, at the heart of this series of interdicts was an attempt by the Kgosi to curtail the democratic rights of disaffected members of the Traditional Community. The majority linked the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly to the health of our democracy, arguing that “there is an inherent value in allowing dissenting voices to be heard and, in doing so, permitting robust discussion which strengthens our democracy and its institutions”. The majority therefore described the attempt to deny the dissenters this right as “disquieting”, especially “considering the underlying dissonance within the Traditional Community and the applicants’ numerous unsuccessful attempts to have this resolved”.

The minority judgment (authored jointly by Chief Justice Mogoeng and Justice Nkabinde) demonstrates a far less robust approach to the rights of disaffected members of a Traditional Community and displays a rather autocratic approach to dealing with dissenting voices in traditional communities. The tone of the judgment is also surprisingly emotional for a judicial opinion, making no bones about whose side its authors are on:

This application has a long and toxic history. It has its genesis in concerted efforts by the first applicant and his father over the years to assume the headmanship of the Motlhabe community. The basis for this claim was that the current lawfully appointed and recognised headman and his father were, according to the applicants, not the legitimate traditional leaders of that community. When it became apparent that none of the senior traditional leaders of the community of the Bakgatla–Ba–Kgafela in Botswana and South Africa were persuaded by the leadership claim of the first applicant, the latter chose to act as if he were the headman of Motlhabe and virtually ceased to recognise the first respondent as his traditional leader.

The main applicant is chastised because by expressing dissent he “threatened to undermine the position of the Kgosi, the certificate of recognition and the order and sanctity of the hierarchy of the Moruleng traditional community”. The idea that in a democracy, citizens – even those who reside in a Traditional Community – should have a right to express dissent, is not explored in the minority judgment.

The minority then ignores the well established legal rule that when a dispute of fact on the papers arise, a court is obliged to decide the matter on the basis of the averments the respondents (the applicants in the Constitutional Court). Instead, the minority makes a finding that a people’s assembly can only be convened by a particular leader who has the authority to do so and within his or her area of jurisdiction.

The inference is irresistible that what they sought to achieve was to replace the alleged “no longer legitimate leadership” with their own leadership or governance structure, which they described in the invitations as the “Motlhabe Tribal Authority”, thereby approbating to themselves symbols of state in order to claim legitimacy for and to bolster their conduct…. In the circumstances, the respondents, as the lawful authorities were entitled to approach the High Court to resist the usurpation of their rights by the applicants, who had no authority under customary law and the relevant statutes to convene a meeting of that nature and form.

The minority argued that the limitation of the right to freedom of expression and free assembly (a limitation imposed by the court when it granted an interdict) was justified to stop the “unilateral declaration of independence” which threatened the authority of the Traditional Leadership. In language that may remind some of a previous era before the advent of democracy, the minority issues the following dire warning:

Disorderliness is on the rise in this country and traditional communities are no exception. If it were to be permissible, the applicants’ form of secession would have to be led by a legally-recognised leader of the community. Meetings that are meant to pave the way for secession should not be clothed with authority the applicants do not enjoy. … In addition, the convening of a general meeting of almost all the villagers in Motlhabe as well as people from neighbouring villages without any legal authority had the potential of creating factions and disorder which could make the Moruleng community ungovernable. In the circumstances, it cannot be said that the apprehension of harm was not reasonable.

This sharp disagreement in the Constitutional Court on whether to protect the rights of those who wish to express their displeasure with the conduct of leaders undemocratically imposed on them, suggest two radically different views of the role of traditional leadership in our democracy. It may also hint at differences between justices about the value of dissent and the right of those who wish to criticise their leaders (democratically elected or undemocratically imposed).

  • Justin

    I thought Plascon-Evans established that disputes of fact in application proceedings are decided (with some qualifications) according to the Respondent’s papers and not those of the Applicant.

  • Chris

    Mogoeng Mogoeng is from Koffiekraal village in the North West Province, Bess Nkabinde is from Silwerkrans in the North West Province. Did they perhaps allow their own traditions to interfere with their judicial functions?

  • Lisbeth

    “… traditional leadership is, by definition, undemocratic and hence not easily reconcilable with the democratic ethos of the Constitution”

    Excuse me? It is utterly irreconcilable. Those worthies who drew up the Constitution clearly did not apply their minds. This was a terrible mistake and ought to be rectified with some urgency.

    @Chris: No doubt about it.

  • Pierre De Vos

    Justin, you are right. But the respondents in the original High Court case are the applicants in the Con Court. A bit difficult to distinguish because surnames the same.

  • Deloris Dolittle

    I have said before on a number of occasions that I struggle to understand how the undemocratic structures of the tribal authorities are allowed to exist alongside our Constitution. These communities very often form isolated and independant island communities cut off from the laws from the mother country. I work with six of these communities on a daily basis and it takes some getting use to. The eladership truely believe that they are in charge and that the Constitution is not applicable to them. The Tale of Two Countries almost.

  • Ozoneblue

    Deloris Dolittle
    March 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

    But we live in two, in fact three countries. The traditional rural African and the modern Western cosmopolitan. An then something hybrid in between. Do you think by advocating against it that reality would simply go away, or it would just harden attitudes from the traditionalists?

  • Ozoneblue

    Anybody watched SABC2 on Sunday evening, debate about homosexuality being “unAfrican”?

  • Zoo Keeper


    I firmly believe that traditional authorities should have no legal authority at all. It is entirely at odds with a constitutional democracy to have such a system in place.

    At best, the traditional authorities should be charged with maintaining tradition and custom, but not to the extent that they can leverage actual power over anybody. Beyond ceremonial stuff they should not go.

    We do of course have the right to self-determination as Brett would point out, but to me that has to be exercised in terms of the Constitution, which means constitutional democracy and nothing else. How far does that right go, Prof?

  • Ozoneblue

    Zoo Keeper
    March 6, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I thought the constitution and human rights are build on the principle of freedom of association. What if some still want to live under customary laws and the chiefs?

  • Zoo Keeper


    Its a good point. But if they want to live under them now and change their mind later, how do they do this in a system which does not recognize their ability to vote for change?

    It only allows for the first choice of being in the system. Once you’re in, you’re in for ever.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Ozoneblue

    March 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Good point gwebs.

    But see what the ANC says about such RACISM.

    “This comes after the father of murder-accused athlete Oscar Pistorius told a UK newspaper that he needed guns for protection because “look at white crime levels, why protection is so poor in this country, it’s an aspect of our society”.

    The governing party’s Jackson Mthembu responded in a statement by saying: “Not only is this statement devoid of truth, it is also racist.

    “It is sad that he has chosen to politicise a tragic incident that is still fresh in the minds of those affected and the public.””

    It is unacceptable to politicise such a tragic event. But did Jackson compare notes with ANCWL, ANCYL, PdV and Eusebius Kaiser?

    Or was Jackson around when he defended Julius Malema singing “kill the boer”?

  • Ozoneblue

    “In a statement Williams said: “Pistorius is unnecessarily misleading local and international communities, by in effect justifying what may be construed as criminal acts and an incitement of racial violence.”

    She said government was committed to ensuring the safety and security of all South Africans irrespective of their race, gender, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.”

    But government has no problem whatsoever with Julius Malema singing “kill the Boer” or Andile Mnxitama gently reminding White liberals that dogs like dem they have a genocide to look forward to in the future.

  • Zulani

    @ Ozoneblue

    March 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

    “Orania is ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse dorpie geleë langs die Oranjerivier in die Noord-Kaapprovinsie in die Karoostreek. Dit is ‘n poging om die ideaal van selfbeskikking deur ‘n Volkstaat van ‘n groep Afrikaners te verwesenlik.”
    How does this differ from “traditional tribe”?

  • Zoo Keeper


    I would postulate the difference is in the detail. Does Orania allow democracy? The traditional authorities do not allow democratic space at all which is where I see the main issue lying.

    If the traditional authorities were genuinely democratic then there should be no problem. But then you get to the stage where you have a de facto federal system. Where does this leave SA?

    I don’t know to be honest.

  • Ozoneblue

    March 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    “How does this differ from “traditional tribe”?”

    It doesn’t. Not according to Orania leadership.

    Orania, Xhosa community sign agreement

  • Mike

    @PDV – Having grown up in KZN the short answer is a definite no.It is also irreconcilable that their votes should be counted in a general election when it is clear that they could never have exercised their vote without fear or favour.

  • Anonymouse

    “The tone of the [minority] judgment is also surprisingly emotional for a judicial opinion, making no bones about whose side its authors are on:”

    Chris beat me to this:

    March 5, 2013 at 19:57 pm

    Mogoeng Mogoeng is from Koffiekraal village in the North West Province, Bess Nkabinde is from Silwerkrans in the North West Province. Did they perhaps allow their own traditions to interfere with their judicial functions?”

    But I was going to ask more or less the same function – isn’t this a case where Mogoeng and Nkabinde should have recused themselves? (I would like to add – wasn’t Mogoeng still the JP of the NW High Court when the dispute first arose?)

    I remember that there was one instance where Mogoeng also failed to recuse himself in a matter (where his wife argued the matter for the state in a criminal appeal) – where the SCA was at pains in pointing out that in such matters a judges should rather recuse than judge. Was this perhaps showing a ‘middle-finger’ to the SCA and the law on recusal? … Perhaps – especially since the minorit judgment is not in tone with the Constitution and the democratic rights enshrined in the BOR.

  • Anonymouse

    “The minority then ignores the well established legal rule that when a dispute of fact on the papers arise, a court is obliged to decide the matter on the basis of the averments the respondents (the applicants in the Constitutional Court). Instead, the minority makes a finding that a people’s assembly can only be convened by a particular leader who has the authority to do so and within his or her area of jurisdiction.”

    By ignoring the Plascon-Evans rule to find in favour of the applicants amounts to saying that the court outright rejects the applicants” version in favour of that of teh respondents (cited the other way around in the High Court), which might just show that the minority (perhaps with a clear knowledge of how the local communities function, albeit undemocratically) sided with the respondents (applicants in the High Court) – which should sign ‘bias’ to any reasonable littigant. In fact, I think the High Court already faulted in this regard – perhaps because the judge is also a resident of that area?

  • Anonymouse

    “By ignoring the Plascon-Evans rule to find in favour of the applicants amounts…”

    should read

    “By ignoring the Plascon-Evans rule to find in favour of the applicants – in the High Court – amounts …”

  • Jama ka Sijadu

    Has anyone commenting here actually lived under traditional leadership, or actually conversant with how it works?

    We claim to live in this wonderful democracy, yet we have very little actual say in how we are governed or how the resources of the country are utilised (eg: e-tolls “public consultation”, R140 million government websites etc) how municipalities are run, or indeed who gets to sit in cabinet, the various legislatures & other positions of power on our behalf.

    Are we not just fooled into thinking we are free & have a say because we get to vote once every four years, & no longer need to carry “reference books”(dompas) around? Once they have our vote, the ruling party essentially do whatever they want to until they come across someone with the legal muscle (& money) to challenge them.

    It’s a little more difficult for traditional leadership to ignore the will of the people & whilst the traditional leadership systems are far from perfect, they are not inherently worse or less democratic than the alternative “give us your vote & we’ll eat your money” western style leadership system.

  • Ozoneblue

    As usual the problem with forums like this one – when talking about “the poor”, the rural Africans, Islam, Calvinism – religion, you name it – “the other” are not engaged, don’t get to state their case. It is again that [liberal] white man’s burden working, our civilised liberals with Internet access talking about stuff we know preciously little about.

    It is like SABC 2 debate Sunday nite and all the South African NGOs and human rights activists were shouting the Ugandans down. Can never understand how that approach helps to solve any problems.

  • Mike

    @Jama ka Sijadu – Western style democracy has one failing and that it was never designed to accomodate voting along tribal and racial lines which is why it has been such an abject failure in Africa.
    It is quite easy to correct this fault by introducing a qualified franchise where the tax payer has a bigger say in how his/her money is spent.
    Unfortunately the ANC relies on the voting pool of those living under Tribal authority so what is good for the country takes second place to their own interests.
    Switzerland eliminated tribalism with the Canton system, however this type of forsight is just to remote to be expected on the African continent.

  • Ozoneblue

    Quote of the Day:

    “Their manoeuvres dovetail nicely with Time’s efforts at deflecting culpability in the Pistorius case away from masculinity and onto blackness. Thus it is ensured that the hard questions are shut out: the questions about an entitled, damaged and damaging masculinity that seeks to claw back power through violence.”

    I suppose the the really hard question is how do you save or White liberals from the kind of identity politics that oscillates between condemnation of rural Africa and their “undemocratic” customs in the [name of “blackness”?] to bizarre generalisation on [Calvinist] Afrikaner men, “whiteness” and “patriarchy”/”masculinity” that is now almost immediately, paradoxically and [conveniently] colour blind.

  • Ozoneblue

    Mean time, Prof Annette Combrinck, that ultimate victim of Calvinist Afrikaner patriarchy that keeps our women bare foot and pregnant in the kitchen [not race-based AA, folks] got kicked out of her mayoral position in Potchefstroom.

    Where are Christi Van Der Westhuizen or ANCWL when you need them?

  • Zoo Keeper


    The ANC is a centralist government. It vehemently resisted the idea of a federation during CODESA because it would mean a dilution of its power.

    I am not intimately familiar with the Canton system but it looks like a more robust federal system than say in the US?

    the Swiss do have some variety in their demographics and the Cantons appear to have solved it.

    I reckon here it would have to be along tribal boundaries. Each would have to raise its own tax and the central government is only there for national infrastructure and defense. Imagine the chaos when setting the Canton boundaries here?

  • Pierre De Vos

    See this article written at the time of the hearing:

    Unaccountable chiefs are a recipe for a new Marikana

    ON THURSDAY, the Constitutional Court heard an appeal against the interdict granted to Chief Nyalala Pilane to stop a village that falls under the platinum-rich Bakgatla baKgafela tribe from holding a “traditional community” meeting.
    The Bakgatla baKgafela live close to Marikana and their land is dotted with platinum mines. Like the Marikana miners, they are ordinary people excluded from the wealth generated by the mines. And, like the miners, they took to the streets in violent protests this year after their attempts to solve their problems by peaceful means came to nothing. Their protests are directed against Pilane, whom they accuse of mishandling their platinum wealth. Given that Pilane is extremely wealthy and politically connected, the concerns and appeals of the 350,000-strong Bakgatla appear to have no traction either with the African National Congress (ANC) or with the government. This, too, draws a parallel with the plight of the Marikana miners.

    Pilane routinely applies for, and is granted, interdicts to stop those who oppose him from being allowed to convene. In September last year, members of the chiefly royal family were interdicted from calling a meeting to discuss problems and irregularities arising from Pilane’s actions. When Mogwase police interfere in marches and protests by people living in the 32 villages that fall under Pilane, they defend their actions by citing an interdict allegedly granted to Pilane in 2008.

    The underlying issue is opposition to Pilane and calls that he be removed as chief. It is claimed he treats the tribe’s assets as his own property, registering companies and bank accounts in his own name as opposed to the tribe’s, and unilaterally deciding on mining and investment deals without consulting the wider community. In April, the “tribe” made a cash investment in Platmin of more than R1bn. Pilane is a director of Platmin. Most community members live in poverty, learning of Pilane’s multimillion-rand investment projects through the media.

    There are repeated allegations that Pilane does not qualify to be a chief according to Tswana custom, as he is the last-born son. This may explain his allegiance to, and unstinting generosity towards, the beleaguered Kgafela Kgafela, paramount chief of the Bakgatla in Botswana. Kgafela recently fled to South Africa after being charged with flogging his community members in Botswana. In August, Kgafela was forced out of Pilane’s Traditional Administration offices by angry villagers who insisted that he return Pilane’s most recent gift to him, a Hummer. They also insisted that said offices should be answerable to them and not to a fugitive from another country.

    Members of the Pilane community have spent years knocking on the doors of both the national and provincial governments with their complaints against Pilane. They have met officials from the Department of Land Affairs, the House of Traditional Leaders, the Law Society of South Africa and the courts. Pilane, in rejecting their complaints, relies on the fact that his 2008 conviction for fraud, corruption and theft was set aside on appeal by the Mafikeng High Court. However, far from exonerating him, the court found that “much criticism can be levelled against the manner in which (Pilane), as the person in charge of the tribe’s money, administered it”. The judgment referred to “great suspicion” regarding funds that “may have been misappropriated” but said the case had not been proved beyond “reasonable doubt”.

    Community members continue to insist that 39 “tribal” companies are registered solely in Pilane’s name and that their funds have not been audited since 2003. Despite protests breaking out in all 32 villages at regular intervals, current and previous premiers have refused to accede to repeated demands that Pilane be stripped of his position as official chief of the Bakgatla baKgafela. The Bakgatla also called for the removal of then North West premier Edna Molewa because of her support for Pilane in the face of growing evidence of financial irregularities.

    The failure of the present premier, Thandi Modise, to oust Pilane has fed into perceptions of his alliance with the ANC. In August, Themba Godi’s African People’s Convention issued a statement highlighting a lack of accountability among some traditional leaders in relation to mining deals. He referred to similar problems and protests in other mineral-rich parts of North West, and the powerful political backing enjoyed by chiefs such as Pilane.

    The tense situation among the Bakgatla exploded in violent protests in June, which resulted in 17 people being arrested and charged with public violence. At the time, Pilane made statements condemning the violence and calling for restraint and respect for the rule of law.

    Modise and the North West insist there is nothing they can do about Pilane. They refer specifically to the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (TLGFA) and its provincial counterpart, the North West Traditional Leadership and Governance Act, in justifying their lack of action. The TLGFA is a deeply controversial law that resuscitates apartheid tribal boundaries and entrenches the position of chiefs appointed during the bantustan era. The outcry against the Traditional Courts Bill derives from the autocratic power that it would vest in the chiefs and ascribed tribal boundaries that have been entrenched by the TLGFA.
    The TLGFA also figures prominently in the interdict case heard in the Constitutional Court last week. The nub of the case is that, in calling for a community meeting, the leaders of Motlhabe village referred to themselves as the “Motlhabe Tribal Authority”. Pilane argued that this wrongly creates the impression that they have official status in terms of the TLGFA. The community’s sin seems to be that it used an official-sounding name. The Mafikeng High Court considered that serious enough to grant the interdict prohibiting them from meeting under that name. This was granted despite the evidence put before the court that Tswana customary law emphasises the importance of clan- and village-level meetings to debate and sanction autocratic behaviour by traditional leaders, and that vigorous and open debate at such meetings constitutes an essential element of age-old indigenous accountability mechanisms that are intrinsic to customary law.

    Pilane’s success in obtaining interdicts also seems at odds with the right to freedom of association set out in the constitution. However, the logic of the interdicts is clear when viewed against the background of the TLGFA’s pivotal role in propping up the power and authority of disputed and autocratic chiefs. As long as the official status of apartheid chiefs is bolstered by the TLGFA, they will have little to fear from ordinary people’s attempts to hold their financial dealings up to the light of day, or from indigenous accountability mechanisms that would otherwise enable rural people to hold chiefs to account.

    The TLGFA, like the Traditional Courts Bill, is the outcome of a sweetheart deal between chiefs and the ANC. The nature of that deal and its outcome for ordinary people is writ large in the unchecked abuses and rampant inequality that characterise mining deals on communal land. This explains why the Traditional Courts Bill was so roundly rejected by rural people during the provincial public hearings that took place earlier this year. However, the National Council of Provinces has called for more hearings and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe recently insisted that the bill would not be scrapped, but merely amended.

    Is it any wonder that the ordinary people living in the platinum belt have lost faith in due process and are taking to the streets, and to the mountains, in violent protest?

    We have a recipe for another Marikana as long as the rich are protected in their excesses while the majority of people remain unemployed, voiceless and desperate. The courts do not help when they grant interdicts that deprive ordinary people of the right to meet and organise in the face of such rampant abuse of power.

    • Claassens is a long-term land-rights activist and a senior researcher in the Law, Race and Gender Unit at the University of Cape Town.

  • Gwebecimele

    Judges and Mining elites are failing this tribe. How did community assets move from the community to an individual? This alleged robbery is not faciliated by the traditional system, instead the courts, administrative structures and the law is imposed on these people. These people are ready to act in a traditional way to resolve what is clearly “tribe matter” but are blocked by courts.

    If you want to blame anybody then the courts, police, government and constitution are prime suspects. J K Sijadu is right these are the same tools used to silence the rest of the citizens.

  • Ozoneblue

    March 6, 2013 at 16:41 pm

    “If you want to blame anybody then the courts, police, government and constitution are prime suspects.”

    I think you must just blame White people.

  • Zoo Keeper


    Those communities who own the land are expressly denied the benefits of the minerals under their soils by the ANC.

    In theory, they should be benefiting from royalties from the miners not so?

    Unfortunately they cannot. The ANC nationalized the mineral rights of this country in the Mineral Rights Act. The State now owns the minerals and those communities are now a lot further from benefiting than they have ever been.

    Is this not a good project for your Constitutional protection group? These poor folk are now expressly denied any benefit by law. Previously the law had it that mineral rights were separate from surface rights, simply to allow the mining houses the ability to own the mineral rights without bothering with the affected landowners. I bought a house in JHB and the mineral rights were bought by some company in 1903!.

    Unfair you say, definitely I agree. Those who own the land should own what is beneath them, and those that mine should pay them royalties. If a lot of people may live there it just means a more complex accounting system.

    That will now never be the case because the State has, without compensation, taken those rights for itself.

    Would you guys be up for that challenge? Plenty of pro-poor ammo in there for you I can tell you!

  • Mike

    @PDV – The cornerstone of any democracy is property ownership which is why tribal land must be abolished.

  • Ozoneblue

    March 6, 2013 at 17:20 pm

    “The cornerstone of any democracy is property ownership”

    Correct Mike. And that pov is more ore less entrenched in our Constitution, which explains why we are living in such a harmonious society with so very few societal problems.

  • Ozoneblue

    Zoo Keeper
    March 6, 2013 at 17:13 pm

    “That will now never be the case because the State has, without compensation, taken those rights for itself.”

    I’m sorry to say but you [and mike] are very confused individuals. In a socialist society the state are the people and the people are the state.

    But thank you for coming.

  • Vuyo

    Interesting article Pierre. Capitalism sustains itself through divisions at all levels. Thus pro-capital agents (e.g. the state, the DA, the majority element of the tripartite alliance, business oriented NGOs, etc) would encourage traditional hierarchical leadership in so-called traditional communities as they would stratification between the “professional” classes, the “managerial” classes, the “workers” and the poor. Even further, the stratification between those who are inherently (and sometimes supposedly) victims and perpetual perpetrators (mostly males, mostly blacks).

    To deal with disease rather than the symptom is to advocate social justice and therefore to oppose capitalism as an inherent evil.

    An interesting article dealing with an aspect of the above is the following:

  • Ozoneblue

    March 6, 2013 at 20:23 pm

    Somehow I knew you would absolutely love that article Vuyo.

    “While our country remains in the grip of profit-driven, white, male ownership and the elitist black ”gentlemen’s club” — who exploit their fellow black men in an oedipal display of imbibed white patriarchy and subjugation — black men in general will never be given the chance to recoup their sense of agency and dignity. They will remain trapped in a negative construct, still reeling from the 350 years of enslavement imposed upon their forefathers.”

    As we all know it was that evil Calvinist Jan Van Riebeeck who brought lobola to South Africa and even as we speak there is only one rich “profit-driven” black man in South Africa – i.e. Leon Schuster. The rest of us black men get wealthy on corruption, tenders, murdering their brothers for better positions in the ANC and in general steeling money from “the poor”.

    But it is not their fault. Never.

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Only OBS and Vuyo could be confronted with the consequences of the nationalisation of mineral rights and argue the cure is more socialism….

  • Gwebecimele

    Do these patients have any rights? Are these health officials different from the pooice?

  • Gwebecimele
  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    Jama ka Sijadu
    March 6, 2013 at 14:26 pm

    Hey Jama,

    There’s the teeny tiny distinction to be considered when comparing government to traditional leadership.

    Like every five years government can be changed (in theory at least – although in practice it seems that Ramaphosa is just a seat warmer for Zuma II!).

    Be that as it may it’s a mad notion that our constitution does not apply to “subjects” of traditional leaders.

    It’s sad that Moegeng and Nkabinde see it differently.

    Oh well – only another eight years left!

  • Mike

    @Ozone Blue – Nice to believe in fairy tales. Van Riebeck had no contact at all with the Xhosa’s and neither did the Zulu’s.
    Still want to deny the Mfecane and the fact that Shaka lived barely 200 hundred years ago.
    The enslavement of black men has originated from what this article by PDV is all about and that is there was and still is a vast difference in the civilisation of blacks and whites in Africa to the extent that economic development in Africa owe’s its foundation to colonial rule.
    What holds black men back is education, people who dont read like yourself, because the historical facts tell a different story.
    The first labour on the mines were 80,000 chinese labourers and the first labour to cut sugarcane was a similar number of Indians.
    So where was the enslavement black men in this country.
    The fact that British companies took every thing and ploughed back nothing is a different story, a story of the Anglo Boer War where once again blacks in this country did not rise up against the oppressor but left it up to the Afrikaner to take on the Brits.

  • ozoneblue

    Mike March 7, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Mfecane who?

    Dont know about that oke. Anything that goes back more than 350 years I dont know nothing about beacause Whites stole all of Africa’s stationary too.

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    March 7, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Haha – is that why we are not standing still?

    “Whites stole all of Africa’s stationary too.”

  • Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (
    March 7, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I don’t know about that either. Stationary, moving, whatever. All I know all the troubles in Afrika is the fault of WHITE people. That is why the only solution is to get rid of the Europeans.

    “They harp and lash harshly at government without rolling up their own sleeves to fight the good fight. They speak with nostalgia about the good old days when their citizenship did not entail obligations towards black folk.”

    They do not want to fulfil their obligations towards black folk. When they leave (like dogss) they can pay their taxes into the EU or Aus who then can supply the FHR monies via UNAID. And that is like a bottomless pit of obligation.

  • Ozoneblue

    The okes who wanted “to roll up their sleeves” hmm.. more racist gatekeeping.

    “At the root of the problem, it seems, is a lack of project management and engineering skills in government.”

    “A lack of capacity at government level to oversee the projects was given as the reason why the projects had been mothballed. “We were told there was no one presently at government level to oversee a large infrastructure project that we had been working on for some time.”

    A report released by the municipal demarcation board in October on the 2010-2011 financial year raises doubts about the government’s plans to increase its infrastructure development roll-out, particularly in rural areas. The board found that although “there was large infrastructure asset value present in municipalities, they do not have the engineering capacity to manage these assets”.”

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    There you have it.

    Someone brainwashed in all the founding myths of the ANC.

    Those nasty Mhlungus forced 45m black people into 13% of the land (never mind the fact that the black population was less than 4m in 1913 and that the Brits gave all the black tribes their own homelands [see above ‘Bakgatla in Botswana’] and then thought they would govern like black gentlemen….)

    Sign on the dotted line, OBS! You are about to become a daddy again. Here is your Maintenance Order….

    Ozoneblue says:
    March 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

    “They harp and lash harshly at government without rolling up their own sleeves to fight the good fight. They speak with nostalgia about the good old days when their citizenship did not entail obligations towards black folk.”

  • Ozoneblue

    Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?
    March 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Brett. That was the thoughts of a “Thought Leader”. Jesus help us all.

    They edit their comment sections meticulously to create a carefully constructed bipolar narrative between basically two entrenched views – i.e. reactionary white, reactionary black (and then the background noise, feel-good “nonracial” middle ground saying about nothing.) Zizek is totally right about that.

    That is why I cross-post here, most of my comments are simply deleted at TL.

  • Henri

    This is what you get if you live in bullshitistan:

    At the one hand we, the people, may not “politisize” the judiciary:

    But everybody knows that is exactly what is being done through the ANC caucus on the JSC:

    Then they ostensibly cannot understand why very few lawyers want to make assholes of themselves by standing for CC positions.

    Lovely logical inconsistency – for logicians.

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?
    March 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Hey Brett,

    “never mind the fact that the black population was less than 4m in 1913 and that the Brits gave all the black tribes their own homelands”

    Iyoh Rama (that’s coolie speak for Oh God!)

    First – there was no Census Bureau before WHITE people came to steal all the land in South Africa (Now that you mention it, there was no South Africa before WHITE people came here to steal everything).

    So according to you, the Brits first stole all the land then then “gave all the black tribes their own homelands” – how kind of the thieving invaders.

    p.s. I have found a great compromise between humans and theists, evolutionists and creationists.

    First there was the big bang, expanding universe …, people evolved as Darwinism suggests. Everyone were living happily, in harmony, in peace with no worries at all. Then out of the blue 2000 years (+ seven days) ago, for no good reason at all, god mysteriously appeared with magical powers. It was bored with the good, kind, loving, caring, decent, respectable world and human beings. So it was decided to cause some mayhem, catastrophes, chaos (in other words, bad things). After plotting and scheming for six days god devised a devilish plan – make a man in his own image. Which it did. And WHITE people were invented. The world has never been the same again.

    WDYSTT, eh???

  • Zoo Keeper


    I must agree with you on Thought Leader.

    The M&G are very careful in how they edit the posts. I’ve tried to post a few responses on a Sarah Britten article on Reeva Steenkamp. Because I posted some tough questions they were censored outright.

    There is some very dodgy stuff going on at Thought Leader.

    It would be great if Nic Dawes could come on here and explain the Thought Leader censorship. At least then we’d at least know not to bother posting, or even reading it.

  • Zoo Keeper


    So the people are the state and the state is the people, so the state should own everything.

    Cool, I’ll tell the beggar down the road he is a multi-billionaire by proxy. Sure is going to make his day.

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    I’ve avoided thought leader for years because of censorship. Used to enjoy Traps.

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Maggs, stay off the grass.

    What that I stated was not fact?

  • Mike

    @Maggs – You know very well that in 1913 places like Kwa Mashu and Umlazi Umbumbuliu did not exist with the poulation numbers that they now have. The population census fairly accurately indicated that in 1973 the black population of South Africa was 15million.
    To have undercounted by 30million at that stage, well that seems a little far fetched.
    Face facts the land issue that the ANC propagates is clothed in quiet a bit of propaganda bullshit as the obvious question of commercial crop farming by blacks on a large scale is answered by the ANC failure to produce evidence of the type of farming impliments to substantiate these claims.
    Face further facts that a study undertaken by indians themselves during your 100 year celebrations prove that only half the number of indians are decendents of the origninal families brought out in the late 1800’s to cut sugarcane, the rest are no different to the Zimbaweans who climbed over fences as illegal immigrants to get into at that stage apartheid South Africa.

  • Ozoneblue

    Zoo Keeper
    March 7, 2013 at 10:52 am


    “The M&G Online is owned by M&G Media, which publishes the M&G newspaper and is 87.5% owned by Newtrust Company Botswana Limited, owned by Zimbabwean publisher and entrepreneur Trevor Ncube. The London-based Guardian Newspapers Limited holds 10% of the company and minority shareholders make up the rest.”

    More or less how Lonmin/mining phenomena and Zimbabwe economy works as well. You have the British capital/BEE/AA crowd controlling mining and the media – and pushing a very specific agenda.

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    March 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Hey Mike,

    “The population census fairly accurately indicated that in 1973 the black population of South Africa was 15million.”


    You believe stuff that the evil apartheid state reported?

    p.s. So while humans were jumping fences to get into apartheid South Africa, WHITE people were able to do so through ports and airports with no hassle – eish you guys made it easy for yourselves, ne!

    But do say what was the WHITE population of South Africa before 1652?

  • Mike

    @Maggs – then provide your figures for the black population in 1973 and the source you rely on.
    You have no arguement that the lack of proof of agricultural impliments to support claims of large scale black crop farming prior to 1652 rather gives credence to the over playing of land claims for the entire western transvaal maize belt and other farming enterprises established by whites.
    Instead of going back to India, East African indians preferred the apartheid state of South Africa because you knew you could rely on the Afrikaner for protection and that the Idi Amin notion of where indians belong would never at that time be a possibilty.
    But of course since 1994 you have now jumped to the other side of the fence.

  • Mike

    @Maggs – What I say about whites before 1652 is what I say about the calf worshipping tribe, that Moses kicked out after coming down from the mountain, and now is the population of India.
    My source of reference is a very good moslem friend.

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Maggs is what my friend Dan Khumalo used to call ‘a migratory bird’. (on a halluginogen…)

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    March 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm


    In 1973 there were lots of Black people. After 1973 there were a lot less because the WHITE people’s government killed many!

    p.s. There was no “large scale black crop farming prior to 1652 because there were no WHITE people in this part of the world.

    Large scale crop farming was invented after 1652 because WHITE people are very greedy.

    They eat a lot.

    Therefore WHITE people, like Brett, are obese.

    Others are really comical – like OB!

    p.p.s. So “very good moslem friend” told you that Moses came down from the mountain and other stuff.

    Hehehe, he’s not a very good friend – he thinks you’re a bit short in the IQ department (in other words a bit slow upstairs – Dmwangi will explain) to believe that kak! 😛

  • Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (
    March 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    “Others are really comical – like OB!”

    Maggs, I may be comical from time to time but I’m still waiting for an answer. What happened to the Walkerville trio?

    And ss you know, what has race got do do with anything, we are all “one people” Whites [although patiently awaiting for FHR/Mngxatima sponsored genocide just around the corner], [over concentrated] Coloureds, [bargaining] Indians and then the NOBLE Africans? not to mention those Calvinist women killing Boers that Malema wanted to shoot?

    What indeed does his race have to do with anything, some will ask?

  • Brett Nortje – 19 years of ANC rule! Is South Africa FUBAR?

    Above Pierre tweets a link to a Christi Van Der Westhuizen article in which she mindlessly parrots the ‘findings’ of a MRC ‘study’ into intimate femicide

    without really understanding what she is reading and missing.

    I wonder if Pierre has looked into the study? Since he obviously believes it, its findings and conclusions?

    To me the most striking feature of this intimate femicide study
    is the absence of the racial breakdown of victim/perpetrator we used to good effect to discredit the 2004 MRC Policy Brief. The racial breakdown showed that white men (remember, Gun Free SA is on record stating half of white families own guns) murdered their intimate female partners at a quarter of the national rate.

    A methodological ‘repositioning’ according to the data, i.o.w. because the bias of the researchers was attacked.

    If the MRC is willing to engage in this kind of sleight-of-hand why should we believe anything it puts out?

  • Mike

    @Maggs – I did my national service in 1973 and was conscripted to the army for the next 10 years and dont recall killing any blacks in SA.
    My HQ for the 84th Moterised brigade was their in Old Fort Road now named after some umfaan,where I was called up for the following ten years of my life.
    You dont have an answer to my basic questions and you are quite willing to get on the bandwagon with the ANC anti white propaganda.
    What the blacks in this country dont understand is that they only have one chance to get it right because the world and that includes the East is sick and tired of the African track record of fucking up a country within a space of 20 years.
    When did Mugabe start his crap with whites, well it was after 1994 because he knew he had the support of the ANC.
    The whites are going to be a tough nut to crack for the ANC, who will not succeed, so I suggest you reflect on obtaining your new villa in India.

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    March 7, 2013 at 14:21 pm


    “[I] dont recall killing any blacks in SA”.

    You killed 15678 Blacks in South Africa – hope that helps. Amnesia is a terrible thing, eh!

    Do you recall how many Blacks you killed outside South Africa?

    p.s. There are no villas in India – WHITE people stole them all India as they did elsewhere in the world.

    p.p.s So why don’t WHITE people grow their own food to serve their insatiable and voracious appetites?

  • joeslis


    No need to get so upset with Margaret (aka Maggs). She’s just saying all those horrible things about white people to get your hackles up. Either that, or she’s lost her marbles.

    What’s more, she’s not even Indian!

  • Maggs Naidu – Towards a DUTY-FREE Cabinet! (

    March 7, 2013 at 18:26 pm


    “She’s just saying all those horrible things about white people to get your hackles up.”

    What’s horrible about the notion that god invented WHITE people?

    Look at it this way – before god self-created itself and WHITE people (from mud), all human beings lived happily ever after (there was no beer, boerewors, road rage, suicide, rugby, obesity, acne, religion, cannibalism, mini-bus taxis, bribery and corruption, DA, weeds, pollution, global warming, racists, Dmwangi …)