A Critical Appraisal of Masolo’s Non Obligation to Share Wealth: Towards Sustainable Economic Justice in Africa

Mojalefa Lehlohonolo Johannes Koenane


In this paper I look at Masolo’s understanding of the African economic justice analytically. In an attempt to understand and engage with Masolo, I look at two aspects among many that characterise Masolo’s position and those are Masolo’s idea that traditional African system of economic justice or distribution of resources was not practiced irrationally thus suggesting that African communities were conscious and aware of their actions. He further articulates that the act of distributing wealth was not a legal requirement, I argue that the practice may not have been legal requirement if ‘legal’ for Masolo is used in a Western restricted sense, however, I argue that that the moral calling to the ‘right thing’ as it were was enough to make the expectation legal. I argue that the material aspect of wealth was inseparable from the spiritual aspect and in this way the origins of wealth were God and the living-dead who participated in the everyday life of the community making others wealthy in order to share their fortune with those less fortunate. Some of the Sesotho expressions and proverbs that will contribute towards the debate are as follows: ‘Lebitla la dijo ke mpa’, ‘metse ho cha mabapa’, ‘feta kgomo o tshware motho’, ‘ntja-pedi ha e hlolwa ke phokoje’ and ‘monyala ka pedi o nyala wa hae’. These expressions directly relates to wealth in the African traditional setting for the Basotho people and I explain them as I use them. There are many more expressions which could have been used but I believe these will suffice.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n2p181

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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