Feu­dal pa­tri­archy must end now

CityPress - - Voices -

K Martin Rand­burg, Gaut­eng

In his haste to cas­ti­gate the Con­sti­tu­tion in de­fence of King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, Thami ka Plaatjie is­sues a veiled warn­ing, couched in pseudo-in­tel­lec­tual bab­ble, to be cau­tious about jail­ing a king (“We jail a king at our peril”, City Press, Jan­uary 3). How so, Thami ka Plaatjie?

Would you have us be­lieve that there was some­how di­vine jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the bar­baric ac­tions of the king?

Were all so­cial and con­sti­tu­tional obli­ga­tions to in­sti­tu­tions to be sus­pended to ac­com­mo­date the rep­re­hen­si­ble be­hav­iour of the monarch?

Nowhere in his ar­ti­cle does he make men­tion of the sheer hor­ror that Dalindyebo and his hench­men vis­ited upon his hap­less vic­tims – his sup­posed sub­jects.

Nowhere does he men­tion the fact that all of us cel­e­brated the adop­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion un­der then pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, who was very close to Dalindyebo’s fam­ily.

Im­plicit in that cel­e­bra­tion was the ac­knowl­edg­ment of the rule of law in a con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy. Things had changed.

Dalindyebo cel­e­brated the supremacy of the Con­sti­tu­tion with the Man­de­las and other clans. Not one chief chal­lenged the adop­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, as was their right.

So Dalindyebo knew, like we all know, that there are laws against burn­ing and pil­lag­ing, but he chose to act as a feu­dal despot.

The king­dom suf­fered un­der apartheid. Dalindyebo should have acted bet­ter than the apartheid rulers.

The kings and chiefs of the var­i­ous tribes in South Africa con­tinue to live large at the ex­pense of the tax­pay­ers.

Surely Ka Plaatjie knows bet­ter than to jus­tify the de­plorable ac­tions of Dalindyebo by re­gal­ing us with past glo­ries of an­cient king­doms in al­most bib­li­cal in­vo­ca­tions.

Thank good­ness for the Con­sti­tu­tion, which pro­tects us poor serfs from the vi­o­lence these feu­dal pa­tri­archs feel en­ti­tled to, as well as those smit­ten by the al­lure of tribal power.

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