On the road to Nasrec: See us, hear us, demand Khoisan leaders
Unlike the pickets staged by those who are for and against Cyril Ramaphosa and his predecessor Jacob Zuma, theirs did not attract much attention from the media and delegates.
But Chief Joseph “Joe” Marble, a chief of the Koi, and Goob Derrick, the leader of the Aboriginal Nation movement, said they believe that their protest was more significant because it touches issues of dispossession, of displacement and of inhumanity.
Clad in their traditional attire made up of animal skins, the pair said they decided to stage their protest outside the venue where the ruling ANC was holding a crucial conference because they had petitioned the party five years ago, making a number of demands, but government and ANC officials have ignored them.
“We are here to enquire about our last memorandum that was given to the President regarding land tenure and land ownership. We are also unhappy that early this year there was a (national) land summit. That summit did not talk about the issues of the Khoisan and their claim to land ownership,” he said.
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Derrick said his movement is aimed at highlighting the plight of the aboriginal people of South Africa, who are poor and landless, even after the democratic government took over power from the apartheid regime in 1994.
“Like we said in our memorandum in 2017, the Khoisan want to be treated like Nguni and other tribes and have a land of our own. It seems like our memorandum was thrown out in the bin.
He added that the Khoisan’s dispossession and landlessness has resulted in the disorientation of their descendants and the proliferation of drugs, gangsterism and fatal shootings in the so-called Coloureds areas, mainly in the Western Cape and Gauteng.
“Nobody can dispute that wherever there is rock art, that is our land. The ANC has failed our people, that is why we are here to protest at their doorsteps, so that delegates can see us, can hear our plight,” Derrick said.
Mandla Mandela, ANC MP and chairperson of Parliament’s Agriculture and Land Reform sub-committee, was not available for comment on Sunday on the matters raised by the two Khoisan leaders. DM