DURBAN - IZINDUNA have called for a commission of inquiry to investigate the killing of traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ubumbano Lwezinduna, an organisation representing izinduna, held an urgent provincial imbizo last week to discuss the continued assassination of traditional leaders in KZN.
The organisation has demanded an investigation into the killings and for the commission to also look at the state of traditional leadership and the role each traditional leader at different levels ought to play in their communities.
The institution of traditional leadership has been under siege in the past few years, with several izinduna and other personnel who served as aides to amakhosi being killed in KZN.
Last year, the IFP called on the provincial government to establish a task team to investigate the killings.
Izinduna play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and facilitating problem-solving in villages, and at times, act on behalf of amakhosi.
Phakamani Dlamini, of Ubumbano Lwezinduna, said a commission could unearth the source of the killings and strengthen traditional leadership.
“To date 32 izinduna have been killed, it is not just izinduna, there are amakhosi who have also been killed; some of them just disappeared.
“We would want the commission to also look at the institution and how it should operate.
“For instance, we as izinduna have no clear duties of what we should do, what are our roles and responsibilities.
“We are just drawing a salary without clearly defined roles,” he said.
Dlamini speculated on what they believe to be the cause of the killings, saying since they started drawing a salary they have become targets of assassinations.
“The izinduna used to volunteer their services, but when they started getting paid, we saw many of them getting fired without cause and even being replaced by close friends and family members of amakhosi.”
He accused some amakhosi of “selling” positions of izinduna which was worsening the problem.
There was an assassination attempt in the Bergville area recently, but the induna survived and the person who pulled the trigger was arrested, he said.
He claimed that “the hit man had revealed that he was paid to kill the induna by someone who had an eye on the position.
“Many izinduna who have been killed were people who already had a bad relationship with their amakhosi”, he said.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Senzo Mzila, said Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka was very concerned about instabilities that impact on the well-being of the institution of traditional leadership.
“For this reason, the MEC will be convening an imbizo with amakhosi, izinduna zaMakhosi and other stakeholders with the aim of finding practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by the institution,” he said.