Chief Khoisan SA scoffs at new Khoisan Leadership law

2019-Nov-30   02:00

Chief Khoisan SA scoffs at new Khoisan Leadership law
One of the prominent Khoisan leaders in the country has rejected the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill, signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa this week.
Source: President/Twitter

- Gomolemo Mothomogolo

One of the prominent Khoisan leaders in the country has rejected the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill, signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa this week.

The Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act recognises the independence and the culture of the Khoisan, as well as their structures.

But Chief Khoisan SA says the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act fails to address the concerns that were raised by the Khoisan people in South Africa.

“This simply means nothing because we have on various occasions opposed the Khoisan and Leadership Act. It doesn’t bear to the point that we have brought forward to the President in 2017. The recognition as the first nation and the issue of the land,” said Chief Khoisan SA.

“For us it is not a victory because we have told him not to sign the Traditional and Khoisan Bill because it talks about five years for a leadership of the Khoisan, yet in the history of Africa there has never been a king that should be in a position for five years and then it should be decided by the Premier, Minister or President who is going to be next in line,” he added.

But the Presidency was upbeat in a statement announcing the signing of the Bill into law.

"The Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act seeks to transform traditional and Khoisan institutions in line with constitutional imperatives, such as the Bill of Rights, and restore the integrity and legitimacy of the institutions of traditional and Khoisan leadership in line with customary law and practices," read a statement from the Presidency on Friday.

"It also provides for the protection and promotion of the institutions of traditional and Khoisan leadership. Furthermore, the Act directs that the kingship or queenship, principal traditional community, headmanship, headwomanship and Khoisan communities must transform and adopt customary law and customs in a manner that is consistent with the principles contained in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. While certain traditional structures and leadership positions have been recognised by law in compliance with constitutional prescripts, there has never before been statutory recognition of the Khoisan,” the Presidency said.

Some of the concerns that have been raised by civic organisations and Khoisan communities is that the Act gives traditional leaders the right to enter into agreements on the use of land without the consent of the people. It gives traditional leaders and councils the powers to sign deals with investment companies without obtaining the consent of the broader community whose land rights could be affected.

Chief Khoisan SA - who claims to be a King of all the Khoisan people - has been camping with a small community in tents outside the Union Buildings for a year. He says he wants the President to address grievances that the Khoisan people have.

Search Newsnote