|dc.description.abstract||One of the challenges of the post-apartheid South African democracy is the incorporation of an
old age institution of traditional leadership into democracy that seems to be in contrast to its
principles. From the dawn of democracy, South Africa has been carrying this unresolved burden
of ensuring that the institution of traditional leadership being part of new political dispensation.
However, those against traditional leadership having a role to play in democracy have cited
several concerns which are valid to an extent. These include the institution being aristocratic
and chauvinistic in its treatment of women. In addition, they highlights that unlike in democracy,
the ascendancy into its leadership is being flawed with discrepancies. Yet, the institution is in
the heart of many who value culture and tradition. in ·the process, it carries an appetizing
constituency for the political parties who intend to win its favour towards votes.
The post-apartheid era, therefore, has been attempting to incorporate such an institution. One of
the justifications has been, democracy has to find a way of making a compromise not to
undermine nor alienate an institution that has a pre-colonial history, survived the onslaught of
colonialism and apartheid, which people still embrace it. In the process, legislations have been
passed including adopting a legal pluralist constitution. Yet, despite all the implemented
legislations, traditional leadership has remained an impasse mainly because none clearly define
an active and tangible role that traditional leadership has on democracy. This has brought
confusion and doubt as to whether traditional leadership indeed can participate in democracy. In
the light of such quandary, studies have been made in an attempt to resolve the ~ole of
traditional leadership in democracy. Despite numerous recommendations towards incorporating
traditional leadership in democracy, the government has been cautiously and at times
reluctantly taking such suggestions. The main reason being that South African Constitution has
heaped praises as being the most progressive.
Any amendments, therefore, are frowned at as posing a threat to the image created. Even then,
there is no denying of the power that traditional leaders have to a formidable part of South
Therefore, it is important to find a way of ensuring that democracy does not exclude these
communities. Moreover, in the light of service delivery, development and good governance,
traditional leadership has to be equipped to ensure that it doesn't contravene nor hinder the
benefits of democratic dispensation.
Therefore, the study intends to address the crucial concerns while forging a direction of truly
identifying the role of traditional leadership in democracy. The reservations of the pure
democracy advocates are objectively assessed and addressed. On the other side, traditional
leadership is being analyzed to identify if there is a breakthrough towards having a clear role in