FORGOTTEN HISTORY: The Khoisan people were wealthy by the standards of the day, owning thousands of head of cattle.
Cape Town - Political parties have warned of illegitimate Khoisan leaders trying to abuse new proposed legislation aimed at recognising the indigenous groups.

The Khoisan Traditional Bill is currently before the Western Cape Legislature whose committee on local government has been across the province holding public hearings.

While the DA have raised concerns of sections of the legislation’s clauses, the EFF believe that there are elements who are trying to abuse it for their own financial gain.

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Masizole Mnqasela, DA MPL and chairperson of the standing committee on local government said the first public hearing held in the Central Karoo was disappointing as only 22 people pitched up.

But a second public hearing held in Paarl attracted more than 200 people and several written submissions were made.

“There is a major problem with certain clauses. One of the clauses speak to fairness as some of the Khoi and San leaders are arguing that they don’t get fair treatment and the same recognition that chiefs and kings in other tribes get.

“They also feel that (they) need to be in charge of the community’s they serve and not just be recognised. They also want their own land.

“One of the fundamental issues that they have is to be recognised on the same level as other tribes. We as the DA want the national government to foot the bill for infrastructure related to this.”

The bill is aimed at making provision for the recognition of the Khoisan to effect consequential amendments to other laws, while also consolidating and repealing the National House of Traditional Leaders Act 2009 and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 2003.

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The bill also aims to address the current limitations of existing legislation, pertaining to sections of the National House of Traditional Leaders Act 2009, the Local Government Municipal Structures Act 1998, the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act 1998 and the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act 1997.

EFF provincial leader Bernard Joseph said there are certain elements that are trying to hijack the process.

“There are people who are fighting between each other. Others are claiming legitimacy over other.

“There is infighting between different groups. It is to some extent really all over the place.

“My biggest worry however is that certain leaders are there only for their financial gain. And it is quite clear what their intentions are.”

Joseph said the difference between the Khoi and the San should also be explained.

“There is a stark difference between the two groups and I see that some are perceiving it to be one group. That also needs to be addressed in the process as we go on.”

A public hearing will be held between 6pm and 8pm today, 17 April 2018, in Klawer.

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Cape Argus