Khoisan: Hand SA back to us, then we’ll talk about land
Legacy of Khoi and San as the indigenous people of SA has been ignored in land debate, says advocacy group
South Africans of Khoisan heritage want a ceremonial handover of all land in the country to their community before the government moves forward with land expropriation without compensation.
“Why is everyone else talking about the land and everyone is silent about the first nation people? When everybody came here, they found our forefathers here,” said Anthony Williams from the Indigenous First Nation Advocacy South Africa group representing the interests of Khoisan groups.
They believe their legacy as the indigenous people of SA has been ignored in the national debate about land reform.
In an interview with Times Select, Williams said more needed to be done to recognise the Khoisan as the original inhabitants of SA.
“What’s missing in the national discourse as far as land is concerned currently, is a very strange phenomenon that the narrative of the Khoi and the San people has notoriously been left out. We are trying to understand why,” he said.“We don’t believe that South Africa is a country by itself; we believe the entire continent of Africa was one country. The indigenous African people didn’t migrate to South Africa because Africa was one country.
“But it is strange that the majority of the indigenous Africans are leaving the first nation people out of the discussion. We were the very first people to put our lives on the line, and there is a very curious silence around why we were left out, even from Codesa.”
(The Convention for a Democratic South Africa, Codesa, was a series of negotiations between 1990 and 1993 that ended apartheid.)
Williams said the government must “come to the table” before the Constitution is amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
“We’ve got to find a way of how do we live together in South Africa today. There needs to be a ceremonial handover of the country.
“The entire South Africa needs to be handed over in a ceremony to the Khoi and the San people. That means international recognition, giving credence that they were the first,” he said.
“Then a justified settlement is needed. Then we can talk about how do we now share the land.”