Representatives of the Khoisan Mass Movement have decried what they term unfair treatment of their communities by government. They claim that the Presidency is yet to respond to their December memorandum in which they gave the government 60 days to respond to their demands.

They want the Khoisan people to be recognised as South Africa’s first nation and no longer to be classified as Coloureds but rather Khoisan. But government is calling for patience, saying the issues are still being deliberated upon in parliament.

Last year, they walked over 1000 kilometers and thereafter camped at the Union Buildings. They embarked on a hunger strike until then President Jacob Zuma or his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa met with them.

The weeks past and they were still on a hunger strike. It ended on Christmas eve last year, after Ramaphosa met with them and received their memorandum.

“The President has agreed that he will be coming back to us regarding all those demands that have been put forward – but up until now and this is seven months later we still don’t have feedback from the President regarding these issues,” said Chief Khoisan SA.

The President’s office says the issues are being attended to. The National Council of Provinces has a Bill that looks at the restitution of rights to land dating back to 1913.

“Government is committed to ensuring that we write the wrongs of the past and those include the ones that we’re committed against the Khoisan people. Unfortunately the processes of the legislature do take some time because they need to be as thorough as possible – ensure that there’s public participation processes that are being taken. And we have no doubt that they will fast track those processes in the interest of ensuring this matter is speedily concluded,” Presidency Spokesperson Khusela Diko explained.

But the Khoisan people say the current public participation must be stopped because they were not consulted.

They want land dispossession to be probed going as far back as prior to 1652.

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