The mobilization of history and the Tembe chieftaincy in Maputaland, 1896-1997.
"The Mobilization Of History And The Quest For The Tembe Chieftaincy in Maputaland: 1896-1997," is a study of conflicts emerging in post-apartheid rural KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Under the white rule that extended from 19th century to the apartheid era, the African pre-colonial "identities" were contained but not diminished. During this period, some ruling families were supported by the colonial powers while others suffered as their positions were undermined. This resulted in numerous conflicts among Africans over ethnic identity; yet the white governments suppressed these conflicts. As the power ofwhite rule declined, some African pre-colonial "identities" have begun to show up and reclaim their positions within their communities. However, times have changed, the forces of the new political and economic order provides a different platfonn to which these conflicts over land and chieftainship are taking place. Motives behind these tensions have been shaped by the present rather than historical demands. The struggles over land and chieftainship in Maputaland are but one example of these controversial post-apartheid debates. For more than hundred years, starting from 1896 to the present, the Tembe Royal family has ruled Maputaland as the legitimate family. After 1994 with the end of white rule in South Africa, some followers of the Tembe Dynasty begun to question the Royal family's legitimacy. The history of the leadership ofthe Maputaland is re-debated. This dissertation is a historical examination of the genesis and development ofthe challenges to the Tembe Royal family's control of present-day Maputaland. This dissertation maintains that the local leadership's mobilization ofhistory in Maputaland, that is reshaping old ethnic identities, is inspired by the envisaged economic benefits to be derived from the advent of eco-tourism.