Traditional leaders do not adequately represent the interests of rural communities in dealing with mining companies.
The king retained his position because undemocratic centralised power is too big a temptation for those who seek to benefit.
The unstable authoritarian pathway that many post-colonial African states followed was facilitated by the way in which European empires undermined democratic elements within African societies.
Serious challenges lie ahead for Botswana's governing party as it celebrates retaining power.
The IFP's constitution provides that the nomination of national office bearers be approved by the branches. But this was not done in the nomination of its new president.
The contested law also defines the jurisdiction of traditional leaders in terms of territory. But traditional community boundaries are actually set by personal relationships.
The mere presence of NGOs, no matter their size or aims, inadvertently reduced the legitimacy of local village headmen.
The main reason land reform in South Africa has been lethargic is not the Constitution, but a flawed approach.
Shortcomings of Namibia's land reforms suggest that voluntary, market-based transactions might not be suitable.
The clash over South Africa's Traditional Courts Bill is essentially about custom and constitutionalism. The government is often seen as pandering to traditional leaders' whims.