Land, Law and Chiefs in Rural South Africa

Land, Law and Chiefs in Rural South Africa

Contested histories and current struggles

William Beinart, Rosalie Kingwill, Gavin Capps, Geoff Budlender, Raphael Chaskalson

$30.00

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Description

Who controls the land and minerals in the former Bantustans of South Africa - chiefs, the state or landholders? Disputes are taking place around the ownership of resources, decisions about their exploitation and who should benefit. With respect to all of these issues, the courts have become increasingly important.
The contributors to Land, Law and Chiefs in Rural South Africa capture some of these intense contestations over land, law and political authority, focussing on threats to the rights of ordinary people. History and customary law feature strongly in most disputes and succession to chieftaincy is also frequently disputed. Judges have to make decisions in a context where rival claimants to property or office assert their own versions of history and custom.  The South African constitution recognises customary law and the courts are attempting to incorporate and develop this branch of jurisprudence as ‘living customary law’. Lawyers, community leaders and academics are called on to assist in researching cases around restitution, land rights and customary law.  
The chapters in this collection discuss legal cases and policy directions that have evolved since 1994.   Some chapters analyse the increasing power of chiefs in the South African rural areas, while others suggest that the courts are giving support to popular rights over land and supporting local democratic processes. Contributors record significant pushback from groups that reject traditional authority. These political tensions are a central theme of the collection and thus serve as vital case studies in furthering our understanding of rights and restitution in South Africa.


Author

William Beinart:

William Beinart is a historian and Emeritus Professor at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He has recently published, with Peter Delius and Michelle Hay, Rights to Land (2017) and papers on land reform and tenure.

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Rosalie Kingwill is an independent academic, policy and action research consultant. She is a research associate at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape.

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Gavin Capps is Senior Lecturer in Economics, Kingston University, UK and was formerly Senior Researcher in the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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Geoff Budlender SC is an advocate in Cape Town, practising mainly in constitutional law, public and administrative law generally, and land law.

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Raphael Chaskalson is a consultant for Vivid Economics, specialising in the economics of climate change.

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Thiyane Duda is a researcher at the Land and Accountability Research Centre in Public Law at the University of Cape Town.

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Derick Fay is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. 

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Sonwabile Mnwana is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Fort Hare and Research Associate at the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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Khumisho Moguerane is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Johannesburg.

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Ayesha Motala is a research officer at the Land and Accountability Research Centre at the University of Cape Town and an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

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Joanna Pickering is a lawyer in ClientEarth’s Climate and Forests programme and an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

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Dineo Skosana is a researcher at Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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Janine Ubink is the chair in Law, Governance and Development at the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University.

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Tara Weinberg is a PhD candidate in the History Department at the University of Michigan.

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