Source: (2005) Monograph 115, Institute for Security Studies.

The monograph introduces the institution of traditional leadership. It demonstrates how this system has been entrenched in the rural areas and raises related questions (chapter two). It deals with the policy and legislative framework that applies to traditional leadership. It shows that traditional leadership as an institution has been tremendously influenced by both colonisation and apartheid systems of government... The monograph then proceeds to present current day experiences as observed in Mokopane, a traditional community in Limpopo province (chapter 3). Two cases – about domestic disputes – are dealt with. These cases are used to demonstrate how an ordinary traditional court deals with cases and disputes. This paves the way for an interrogation of some of the problems that pertain to a traditional court. The issue of gender (and gender relations), as well as that of the procedure followed in the traditional courts, are dealt with. Crime prevention is one of the areas in which traditional leaders play a significant role – at least so it is claimed. The role of traditional leaders in crime prevention is examined and interrogated... Having confirmed, on the basis of the evidence presented, that traditional leaders do indeed play a significant role in crime prevention, the monograph goes on to assess feasible ways in which traditional leaders can participate in improving their communities’ access to justice (chapter 5). The monograph ends by concluding that traditional leadership is entrenched in the rural areas and has a crucial role to play. However, there are problems that need to be addressed in order to ensure that justice prevails in these traditional communities. (excerpt)