The South African Council of Churches has urged national leaders to meet members of the Khoisan Mass Movement who are on hunger strike.
Three Khoisan activists have been camping outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria for more than two weeks.
They’re demanding audiences with President Jacob Zuma, his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister in the presidency, Jeff Radebe.
They want to be recognised as the first nation of South Africa and to have their language added as an official language.
SACC general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpulwana does not want the KhoiSan activists to die below the statue of Nelson Mandela outside the Union Buildings:
He says: “We don’t believe a 20 minutes audience is too much to ask for people to go back to their families and we would appeal to the president particularly of the governing party and the president of the country to honour their request.”
“They have lost energy as two of them have not eaten for the past 16 days. Can you imagine how scandalous it would be if one of them losses their life on the foot hills of Nelson Mandela.”
Meanwhile their leader, who calls himself Chief Khoisan South Africa, says they’re now optimistic their plight will draw the attention of the presidency.
He says: “I feel positive after I met the Bishop. He made some positive remarks that makes me feel better. What you must know is our bodies are at a point where they are deteriorating because now we are getting weak, fatique and all those things.”