The Bedrock of African Societies
Like fire Contralesa’s esteemed traditional leadership has been the bedrock of our South African societies from as far back as time can be counted. Our people have a proud heritage of democracy and governance, respect for elders and other values which has been bestowed upon them through this institution. There is a sense of service to other people as well as the principles of collective leadership, consultation, consensus and many of the hallmarks of modern democratic nations today that our leadership has practiced for generations.
South Africa’s Liberation
Contralesa played an integral role in the countries liberation struggle against apartheid, by ensuring a smooth transition from the apartheid Bantustan structures to a democratic and unitary South Africa, as we know and love it today. We were particularly critical at the time as well, by making sure that the people that depended on the Bantustan structures as a source of income, were not severely inconvenienced by the abolition of such structures. Sharing a common view of the establishment of a free, unitary, non-racial and democratic South Africa with the ANC (African National Congress) we stood side by side to establish this common view, yet independent from them.
The Chosen Chief
A chief is selected because he displays bravery in the sight of danger, protecting his community and is then affectionately known as “Mohadi” or “Ingwenyama” (A hero). During our formation in 1989 we resolved to fight against the dangers that the apartheid rule posed to our communities, we did not stand for the divisive bantustan systems and rallied the chiefs to encourage their people to stand against such system. We stood againt the chiefs who became co-opted lackey or puppet of the government encouraging them to became who they were chosen to be, a rightful leader of the people.