24.9.2016 07:30 am
Khoisan people| Supplied
Ifnasa wants legal standing for the premise that the Khoi-San were the original occupiers of the land, and therefore everyone else is the invader.
This land is not your land, this is not our land, this is the land of the Khoi-San, the “first nation”. And they want it back.
All of it.
In order to give their claim gravitas, the Indigenous First Nation Advocacy South Africa (Ifnasa) group has mounted a Constitutional Court claim to get the Khoi-San’s land back.
Constitutional Court case number CCT229/16 may prove to be one of the most important land cases on the honourable justices’ desks this year, as a community within a community – divided among itself over its needs and wants – battle to come together under a common banner.
“There has been a serious miscarriage of justice, so we need to correct that,” said Reverend Anthony Williams of Ifnasa at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg yesterday.
Williams was referring to the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015, and it’s this part which offends: “The provisions of this Act relating to the recognition of a traditional or Khoi-San community or leader shall not be construed as bestowing upon such a community or leader any special indigenous, first nation or any other similar status.”
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However, said Williams, “History has enough evidence, there is more than enough proof, there is empirical evidence that the Khoi-San people are the first nation. There is no argument about that.
“It’s a foregone conclusion the Khoi-San were here first, there are traces all over the place. In those days there were no title deeds; wherever people walked, the traces are there.”
With two boxes of legal papers handed over to the court registrar, there’s a lot to look at. Yet his claim may have legs; the rock art which abounds throughout South Africa being … ahem … rock solid.
Williams wants the court to recognise the Khoi-San and give them legal standing in their own right. “There is enough evidence in the form of genetics to prove that in particular the group of people labelled as coloured are their children,” he insisted.
“We want to register with the country, with the government, and the Constitutional Court that the Khoi-San are not extinct.”