Khoisan leader Chief Khoisan SA and his fellow men, who have been camping outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria for almost two months, today said they rejected the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill which was passed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
“We reject the bill in all its forms, the bill doesn’t talk about the issues we brought forward from years now, our first nation status, our language, land claims as well as our identity,” said Chief Khoisan SA.
The bill was passed on Thursday.
This is the second time the men camped outside the Union Buildings. In 2017 they walked barefoot for 18 days from their homes in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, to Pretoria.
Chief Khoisan SA disputed the bill and said that it does not recognise the indigenous Khoisan tribe as the “first nation” and rightful owners of the land in South Africa.
“Currently government is busy with land expropriation without compensation, we are making it clear to government that all proceedings regarding land expropriation must stop now. It is not the land of the government, it is the land that belongs to the first nation,” he said
The group also said their language — which is on the coat of arms — must be made official.
Chief Khoisan SA said he was not happy that they were still classified as Coloured.
He said they want to be recognised as Khoisan, San, or Bushmen.
“We will be sitting here even for 100 years. What the government must know is that the longer it takes for them to listen, they are losing the fate of the people,” said Chief Khoisan SA.
The bill was backed by all provinces except for the Democratic Alliance-led Western Cape.
The Western Cape opposed the bill on the grounds that it used different criteria when it came to Khoisan people than with other traditional leaders and was therefore discriminatory.
– African News Agency (ANA)