Outrage over MEC's 'insult' FORMER House of Traditional Leaders head Inkosi Mpiyezintombi Mzimela has objected to comments that traditional leaders were uneducated and overpaid. "It is not correct and it is an insult that amakhosi, after they have been thrown a dry bone, should celebrate," he said. Mzimela was responding to Gauteng MEC for local government and housing Humphrey Memezi's remarks when he addressed traditional leaders in Boksburg yesterday. Memezi launched an attack on traditional leaders, who came to discuss the state of governance in the area of traditional affairs. "This government has improved salaries of chiefs. We have taken them up from between R1500 and R3000 and they are now earning the same as teachers, - without an education," Memezi said. After his speech Memezi left the gathering to attend to "other important" engagements. Mzimela took offence to the MEC's comments. "I am a teacher by profession and it is not true that traditional leaders are paid like teachers," he said. "It is not okay for people to talk about uneducated leaders, the president of Contralesa (Phathekile Holomisa) is an advocate. Our role in promoting education cannot be doubted." Memezi, who is also the deputy provincial secretary of the ANC, subtly campaigned for his party, telling traditional leaders that they had a challenge to ensure that communities registered to vote, and voted correctly. Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka said traditional leaders were key to the development of their communities. Shiceka, whose speech was read by director-general Muzamani Mwaila, said it was the government's commitment that traditional leaders' voices found expression in the democratic governance in this country. "As required by law, the institution of traditional leaders is expected to work with and support the government in the development of rural communities."