The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) is launched

Thursday, 24 September 1987

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.

• Oomen, B (2005), Chiefs in South Africa: law, power & culture in the post-apartheid era, New York: Palgrave Division of St. Martin's Press.
• nelsonmandela,' Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa',[online],Available at[Accessed: 13 September 2013]

Last updated : 13-Sep-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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