Gendered ruptures and continuities in the Venda traditional leadership from C. 1990 to 2020

Authors

  • Lufuno Mulaudzi University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Lize Kriel University of Pretoria, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/24150509/SJCH46.v2.6

Keywords:

Venda vhuhosivhuhulu (‘kingship’), Mphephu, Ramabulana, Peter Toni Mphephu, Masindi Mphephu, Traditional leadership, Makhadzi

Abstract

This article approaches traditional leadership disputes amongst and within Venda royal houses over the past three decades (from the end of grand apartheid to the presidency of Mr Cyril Ramaphosa) while investigating the reasons for the importance of such traditional leadership positions in modern South Africa. In the light of the most recent disputes around the right of women to ascend to the highest Venda authority, historical precedents around practices of female leadership amongst the Vhavenda are considered. Amongst the continuities observed, are the inevitable limitations to traditional authority: a need to be legitimated from “within” and sanctioned from “above”, by whoever controls the greater nation-state. The discontinuities can be observed in the nature of the arguments on both sides. The historical account pays attention to popular protests, government-appointed commissions, court cases and appeals to the principles of equality in the South African constitution.

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Published

2021-12-31

How to Cite

Mulaudzi, L., & Kriel, L. (2021). Gendered ruptures and continuities in the Venda traditional leadership from C. 1990 to 2020. Southern Journal for Contemporary History, 46(2), 89-112. https://doi.org/10.18820/24150509/SJCH46.v2.6

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Section

Articles