The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) is launched to articulate the interests of Traditional Leaders and act as an extra-parliamentary opposition movement. Contralesa was largely set up by Moutse Traditional Leaders, opposed to KwaNdebele Independence. The movement aligned itself with the African National Congress and the United Democratic Front.
By the time that Contralesa was launched nationally in 1989, the Traditonal Leaders part of the organisation had become one of the ANC's most important rural partners.
After the demise of Apartheid, Contralesa campaigned for the constitutional recognition of the status, role, and powers of traditional leaders in the new democratic South Africa. As a result, Chapter 12 was drafted onto the South African constitution.