Debate: Are monarchs outdated or still relevant?

The South African government spends millions of rands every year on work related to monarchs of different tribes in the country.

This follows a Sunday Times report that a new facility is being built for Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini near Nongoma in KwaZulu Natal which could cost R1 billion Eusebius McKaiser held a panel discussion on the role of monarchs in a democratic South Africa.

Inkatha Freedom Party member of Parliament (MP), Mkhuleko Hlengwa, argued that monarchs are still relevant because they are part of the South Africa's identity.

Hlengwa says it's wrong to associate monarchs with negativity only.

He says traditional leaders also want clarity on their role so that they can be held accountable.

When we say cultures and traditions evolve, traditional leaders agree to that.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP MP

We still have the Queen of England as the head of state, but her functions, responsibilities and duties have been defined into the type of democratic dispensation which exists in the UK, the same needs to happen here.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP MP

Let's deal with the constitutional imperative which is before us.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP MP

University of KwaZulu Natal's Lukhona Mnguni says there is a room for traditional leaders in South Africa, but they shouldn't practice as part of public governance.

Mnguni says all people should be governed by the same opportunity for justice to avoid a parallel system of justice.

Read: New Traditional Courts Bill undermines traditional structures - Contralesa

Also read: Are traditional leaders in conflict with the constitution?

University of KwaZulu Natal's Luthando Ngema says monarchs have not adapted with democracy and they are outdated.

It was a quick administrative process to control the natives (by colonialists).

Luthando Ngema, UKZN

It's a very uncontrolled space, especially when you look at socio-economic issues.

Luthando Ngema, UKZN

Listen to the full discussion below...


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