The first batch of more than 100 claims and disputes on traditional leadership positions in the province, dating back 86 years, was pronounced by Premier Noxolo Kiviet at Mthatha Civic Centre on Tuesday.
Kiviet, accompanied by MEC for local government and traditional affairs, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, and the department’s superintended general, Stanley Khanyile, announced the outcome of 16 of the 23 claims and disputes on traditional leadership positions lodged by some provincial communities.
The claims and disputes were submitted to the provincial committee of the commission for claims and disputes.
In total, about 172 claims and disputes were lodged with the commission, which started its work in April 2012, with public hearings kicking off last June.
Of the 23 claims that have been finalised by the commission, 16 were announced to traditional leaders in attendance yesterday and seven claims and disputes were returned to the commission for further investigation. Of the 16 that were announced, 11 were dismissed by the commission.
Making the commission’s pronouncement, which has cost the department about R5m, Kiviet made the plea to traditional leaders “to stop taking the disputes to the public”.
“I am encouraged by traditional leaders who had decided to withdraw their claims. It does not help taking the royal or traditional related matter to the public. Why cannot we solve this our own?”
Qobshiyane said he was encouraged by the peaceful mood that was displayed by those in attendance. He said those who had their disputes sustained had to approach the department.