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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Monday 04 December 2023

Khoi-San seek recognition and return of land

The Khoi-San see themselves as the ‘first nation’ of South Africa, and 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. ‘There has been a serious miscarriage of justice, so we need to correct that,’ said Reverend Anthony Williams, of Ifnasa, at the Constitutional Court, according to a report in The Citizen. Williams was referring to the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill 2015, which states: ‘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.’ 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.’ With two boxes of legal papers handed over to the court registrar, there’s a lot to look at. 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.’