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How Headmen are Elected: Luvuyo Wotshela Comments on Rural Rights

Wiseman NkuhluWhy are rural people still regarded as non-citizens by government?

Dr Fani Ncapayi, director of the Cala University Students Association (CALUSA), recently wrote an article for the Daily Dispatch about the rights of rural people under traditional leadership.

The article explains the process of how headmen are elected and makes reference to Professor Luvuyo Wotshela, author of Wiseman Nkuhlu: a life of purpose, who said that this practice has been common in the former Ciskei homeland.

Read the article:

Traditional leaders argue that the Act empowers them to decide, without consulting communities, who should be headmen in communities. These moves run against an established custom of electing headmen in the former Xhalanga magisterial district, including Cala Reserve. According to University of Fort Hare historian Professor Luvuyo Wotshela, it has also been a common practice in many rural communities of the former Ciskei.

Most villages of Xhalanga have, since the colonial period, had an established practice of electing headmen. Indeed, the practice has survived since then, throughout the apartheid period, into South Africa’s democratic era.

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