Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Corruption Watch is mulling a legal fight against President Cyril Ramaphosa over his decision to sign the contentious Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill into law last week.

The organisation says the bill grants undue rights to traditional leaders at the expense of communities who will be easily dispossessed of their land.

On Friday, the Presidency said the legislation sought to transform traditional and Khoi-San institutions in line with constitutional imperatives and restore the legitimacy of institutions of traditional and Khoi-San leadership in line with customary law.

Corruption Watch spokesperson Phemelo Khaas said Ramaphosa had ignored concerted efforts and campaigns by civil society organisations which highlighted the vulnerabilities of the Bill.

“Corruption Watch (CW), together with a number of civil society organisations, had anticipated that the President would refer the Bill back to Parliament after two panel reports warned that provisions of the Bill are in breach of fundamental constitutional rights,” Khaas said.

She said Ramaphosa had also ignored the reports two panels, the 2017 High Level Panel on SA legislation led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe and the Ramaphosa’s own advisory panel on land reform, which state that provisions of the Bill infringed on constitutionally protected customary and informal property land rights of people.

“The Bill gives traditional leaders the right to enter into agreements on the use of land without the consent of the most affected groups – this effectively enables traditional leadership structures to dispossess people of their land without either their agreement or expropriation,” Khaas said.

The organisation said it would wage a fight against the act.

Political Bureau