Map of MpumalangaCoordinator: Zolta Buthelezi. Zolta has worked for CCJ since 2004.

District: eThekwini Metro

Tel/Fax: 031 771 1044


Area: 2,292 sq. km

Population: 3,090,121

Most common cases: Legal advice and social problems

Areas served: Camperdown, Mpumalanga Township, Pinetown, Intshanga, Ntshongweni, Mpola, Cato Ridge, Sankontshe, Mophela, Njobokazi, Zwelibomvu, Ehlanzeni, Malangeni, Mlaba Village, KwaMoya, Emafutheni, Ezitendeni, eSivivaneni, eKwandeni, Zamani, Georgedale communities.

Description: Mpumalanga is a peri-urban township surrounded by communities under the traditional leadership of Amakhosi and Izinduna. Infrastructure is poor: some areas are decaying from neglect and the effects of the pre-1994 political violence, while the nearest hospitals are in Durban or Pietermaritzburg. Clinics are available but lack aMpumalanga Support Centredequate supplies.

The Mpumalanga office (left)  is at the police station, and is close to its target population and easily accessible. Roads and transport are reasonable. In 2011, the office dealt with 466 cases, with child abuse (131) and domestic violence (99) being the most common types.  

Zolta Buthelezi

“The child support grant is a problem. Mothers leave the children with their grannies and take the money for themselves."

How long have you Zolta Butheleziworked for CCJ?

Since 2004

What led you to work for CCJ?

I was a paralegal before working for CCJ.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing people in your area?

They are domestic violence and unemployment.

Have you had a case when you relied on traditional customs?

There was a case of a man who had paid lobola for a woman who then refused to marry him, and the parents wouldn’t pay the money back. His problem wasn’t covered by any of the civil or criminal laws, so we had to refer to customary law, which stated that the man would only get lobola back when another man proposed to the same woman. This man would release the lobola back to the man. We gave him this advice.

Who is your role model?

My grannies are my role models. They care for their community and try to empower them. They don’t expect anything in return. 

Are there any laws that would like to see changed?

The child support grant is a problem. Mothers leave the children with their grannies and take the money for themselves.

Can you describe one of the most satisfying cases you have dealt with?

There is a type of case: attorneys have issued illegal letters of demand to several clients asking for money as part of land claims. These were for thousands of rand, but they were illegal. I informed my clients that they didn’t have to pay or to go to meetings with the attorneys. I empowered them to ignore the demands and saved them thousands of rands.

Are there any particular challenges you have in your work?

At the moment we have to ask the police to use their fax and copier. A computer would help because at the moment I write out everything by hand.

Have you noticed any changes in attitudes among people in your time at Mpumalanga?

Yes, the men have changed their attitudes. They support their wives more. Some of them come and thank me for the work I have done for them explaining the law.

What advice would you give children growing up in Mpumalanga?

I would tell them to have a goal, to work hard, avoid early pregnancy, choose friends wisely, and don’t let your future slip through your hands.

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