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Khoisan: It’s our land and we want it back

Author: Katharine Child

A group claiming to represent the Khoisan has called for reparations from the British and Dutch governments for their roles in dispossessing them of their land. “The colonial powers became rich from our land: our diamonds, our gold,” said John van Rooyen, chairman of the Gauteng Khoisan Council.

He was speaking during the SA Human Rights Commission hearings into the alleged marginalisation of the Khoisan community. The group is demanding better representation for the Khoisan at all levels of government in South Africa, and wants Khoisan languages to be officially recognised. SA Human Rights Commission member Danny Titus said the commission was holding hearings in Northern Cape and Western Cape on the rights of indigenous people. “The general experience in this country is that we have constitutional rights but we don’t have implementation of them,” Titus said. “Many people, such as gays and lesbians, and victims of crime, feel excluded. The Khoisan also feel excluded.

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