Khoisan leadership demands proper recognition
LEADERS of Khoisan groups in the province have complained to the SA Human Rights Commission that the government and its institutions are not giving them proper recognition.
The groups attended a hearing the commission had arranged for yesterday. The hearing was about the human rights situation of South African indigenous communities.
Attended by more than 70 people, the hearing was held at the Goodwood Civic Centre. It ends today.
”The stark reality is that we, as the sovereign people of South Africa, continue to be the victims of cultural genocide. For 363 years and counting, we have suffered every dishonour ever handed out to a people,” Chief Tania Kleinhans-Cedras, Secretary-General of the Institute for the Restoration of the Aborigines of South Africa (Irasa) said.
Johnathan Muller, Commissioner for the !Koraxou//ais Nation, said he could not stress enough how damaging the government’s lack of interest in human rights had been to indigenous people of South Africa.
King Khoebaha Calvin Cornelius lll, Head of the Royal House of the Khoisan Nation, said the country’s indigenous people still faced marginalisation, extreme poverty and human rights violations.
He alleged the government and its institutions tried to drive indigenous people apart by working only with certain institutions while ignoring others. He said Khoisan people who recently marched to Parliament to hand President Jacob Zuma memorandums of demand, had felt insulted at having to wait three hours in the hot sun for an official, who could not speak Afrikaans, to collect the memorandums.
Chief David Johannes of the Cochoqua Clan, who outlined the ancestry of his bloodline Khoisan chieftainship, and their recognition demands, said they reject the terms ‘Cape Khoi’ and ‘Kleurling (coloured)’.
SAHRC Head of Communications Isaac Mangena said the commission had held similar two day-long hearings in Johannesburg, where about 20 Khoisan groupings and government departments had made submissions.
Hearings are planned for the Northern Cape next year. Once all hearings are concluded the commission would compile a report and submit it to the government and all affected parties.