The Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA), the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM) and the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) and 100 representatives of the rural masses met this week to discuss the impending Traditional Courts Bill. This conference was attended by representatives of all the four corners of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) who are living under Amakhosi and those who are on farms.
The conference unanimously expressed deep reservations about the bill in its current form. It is in our view that the bill will erode some of the democratic gains which many of our people fought for. The bill will have serious consequences for rural women and the rural population in general in terms of equal access to justice and it erodes the traditional justice system as it were by imposing the senior traditional leaders as the sole adjudicator.
We wish to register our disappointment with the proposed public education and hearings to be rolled out by the KZN legislature. It has been brought to our attention that there are only 5 areas earmarked for public hearings and education and there has been no provision to transport rural communities to such venues. We call on the KZN legislature to seriously engage in a dialogue with rural communities on this issue in line with the requirements of the constitution.
Public education and hearings should be extended to cover the widest and furthest communities in our province to solicit their views on this matter.
For more information contact:
Association for Rural Advancement
Mobile: 033 345 7607
Rural Women’s Movement
Mobile: 073 840 5151
Landless People’s Movement
Mobile: 083 733 9567
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