About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa)

Contralesa brings together traditional authorities, like chiefs and headmen, who identify broadly with the liberation movement. It is officially non-aligned, insisting traditional rulers are above party politics.

Started in 1990, it has more than 2 000 members in all four provinces. Contralesa has not gone unchallenged, with difficulties among its members in Natal and conservative rival groups springing up in Transkei and Ciskei.

Presenting itself as a powerful sector of the rural community, Contralesa has been fighting for a place for traditional leaders in the new government. Umtata advocate Chief Patekile Holomisa is the long-serving president of Contralesa.

Tel: (011) 838-5802. Chief Patekile Holomisa (0471) 310437

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.