The original sin was perpetrated against the Khoi and the San, writes Fadiel Adams. Picture: Charles Bell painting of Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay in April 1652.
I attended the debate on the Traditional Leaders and Khoisan Bill in the chambers of Parliament on February 27, a truly amazing and humbling experience.

Many qualified speakers propagated various viewpoints, the two who stand out for me being chiefs Le Fleur and Buthelezi.

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The president of the republic in his dashing manner closed the debate, answering every one of the questions posed, from funding to economics to land expropriation, but he didn’t mention the Khoi and the San. It dawned upon me that our president is uncomfortable addressing my people's plight, that his government's refusal to acknowledge our indigenous status is a planned strategy, a strategy to rewrite history and replace us.

Allow me to state the uncomfortable facts: the Khoi and the San are the original owners of this land, the original sin was perpetrated against us. Our position is clear, and it is not one of subservience, we will never again be second-class citizens in our own home. You cannot expropriate our lands and give them to someone else, this is recolonisation, it is unethical and illegal.

I had hoped that in Cyril Ramaphosa we had the leadership this country needs, just a few short months later I’m beginning to have my doubts. I pray that I am wrong. Let the president show us he is Madiba’s spiritual heir, let him show us that truth and fairness triumph over populism.

Mr President, show us Malema is not the chief strategist of the ANC.

* Fadiel Adams, Gorinhaicona Tribal Council.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

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