Member of the Khoisan group, Chief Khoisan S.A at Union Building. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA
Member of the Khoisan group, Chief Khoisan S.A at Union Building. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

‘Khoisan 6’ at Union Buildins call for talks in wake of Bill

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 21, 2019

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THE “Khoisan 6” camping at the Union Buildings have called for a collective conference of all Khoisan leaders, to be held on February 2 in the Catholic diocese in Pretoria.

The call comes in the wake of the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill that was passed during a special sitting of the National Council of Provinces earlier this month.

The bill is aimed at giving recognition to Khoisan communities, leaders and structures, but also affects people living under customary rule in the former “homelands” created under apartheid.

But the Khoisan 6, who are strongly opposed to the legislation, said they were still demanding recognition of their culture and language from the president and government of South Africa.

They undertook a long, strenuous journey, walking from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria, and have been peacefully protesting at the Union Buildings for the past eight weeks.

They are willing to wait for as long as it takes to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“We delivered our demands to the then deputy president in 2017 and we are still waiting for him to respond to our grievances, which include that the Khoisan and their descendants, or the so-called classified coloured be afforded First Indigenous Nation Status,” they said.

They also want their culture and language, which they claim have been marginalised since the dawn of democracy, to be recognised.

“We want the land that was stolen to be given back to us and that the term coloured be scrapped.

"We will wait on him even if it takes a hundred years to answer to our desperate pleas,” said the leader of the group, Chief Khoisan SA.

“It is with these emotive issues which remain unresolved, that the Khoisan 6 have convened this conference in February.

"We are calling on all national and provincial Khoisan leaders to attend.”

The focus of the conference, according to the convener, Dr Leonard Martin, will be on identity, the land question, self-governance and international indigenous legislation.

“This is a very important matter. We have to unite as one indigenous nation and come up with a strategic plan to address the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill and all the other outstanding issues confronting the Aboriginal Indigenous First Nation of South Africa or the Khoi-San/coloured nation. The struggle for unity will endure,” said Martin. Staff Reporter

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