Lobby groups call on Ramaphosa not to sign Khoi-San bill

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Some lobby groups have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa not to sign the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill into law. The Mandela Foundation and the Alliance for Rural Development, among others, hosted a dialogue in Johannesburg.

The groups claim the bill promotes apartheid era laws and is unconstitutional. It was approved by Parliament in February and recognises Khoi-San communities and their leaders.

The groups say clause 24 of the bill, however, gives traditional leaders and councils the power to sign over people’s land.

The Land and Accountability Research Centre’s director, Annika Classens, says the bill will strip rural communities of their rights to land.

“What do these laws do? They deny that rural African people have property rights. They assert that the chiefs own the land and they deny that rural African people have decision making authority.”

Two ANC struggle veterans have added their voices against the bill, which is still to be signed by President Ramaphosa.

Mavuso Msimang and Tim Wilson say they will approach the governing party to prevent the signing of the bill into law.

“I am appalled by this and the government is continuing with the strengthening of tribalism. It is appalling. We’ve got to continue to fight within the ANC to say, listen, stop, think about what you are doing,” Wilson says.