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Izinduna won’t vote until they are paid

Several KwaZulu-Natal headmen and women (izinduna) claim they and their communities won’t vote in the 29 May elections if they do not get the remainder of their R600-million back pay.

On Wednesday, some izinduna told Scrolla.Africa the funds that were supposed to be paid last year are still with the provincial government.

Induna Sizakele Nhlebela from Nkandla said that some traditional leaders have yet to receive their back pay while others have only received half.

“We have been getting promises from the government, but some of us have yet to receive the fully paid amount due. That’s why we are giving them an ultimatum to pay us all our outstanding funds before the end of this month.

“If they fail, we will have no options but to mobilise our communities and snub the elections,” she said.

Izinduna still command a sizeable rural community base.

In 2013, former president Jacob Zuma signed their back pay into law, which was gazetted in 2015.

However, they didn’t receive their back pay then because the provincial government distanced itself from the funds, and the National Treasury had also not allocated any funds.

Siboniso Mngadi, a spokesperson for the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department in KwaZulu-Natal, said funds were paid. Still, there were other issues – for example, claimants for the deceased, whose matters needed to be referred to the Master of the High Court.

“We have paid at least 80% of the beneficiaries. Our beneficiaries are between 2013 and 2016, but the problem is those who didn’t fall into the stipulated category but also want to benefit.

“Besides, we have to make sure that we resolve issues that face individuals, which sometimes are related to Sars,” said Mngadi.

Pictured above: Izinduna want KZN to pay the money owed to them, or they will boycott the elections in their villages.

Image source: Supplied