Khoi-San Leadership Act unhelpful

National leader of the Kei Korana, Glen Taaibosch

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act will not help indigenous groups in its current form. This is according to the national leader of the Kei Korana, Glen Taaibosch, as the bill is set to commence on 1 April 2021.

Bloemfontein Courant previously reported that the Act is set to take effect later this year after it was approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 2 December 2020. Taaibosch expressed that since indigenous groups are not constitutionally recognised, the Act will not serve the needs of the Khoi and San community.

“The bill is needed but in its current format it does not give us the recognition we need. Here you have a bill which is a piece of legislation that will inform the Constitution, yet, we as a people are not recognised by the Constitution of this country,” he explained.

After 24 years since talks began with former President Nelson Mandela to draw up the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act, the legislation will take effect this year. According to Taaibosch, due to centuries of dispossession and westernisation the Act may make it more difficult for indigenous rights to be recognised.

“Before we can get recognition we are expected to come up with oral history, family research and justify our claims. It’s basically impossible for any of us to prove that because we’ve been displaced from our land by colonisers and then the Apartheid government. Now we have to prove that we have a kraal but there’s not one Khoi/San person who can prove that. We also have to prove that we live the Khoi/San way of life, but we’ve been westernised,” said the leader.

Going forward, Taaibosch expressed that they plan to change the Act in order for it to conserve the rights of indigenous people. “We don’t have a choice but to accept it for now but we will have to try to fight this from the inside out,” he concluded.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele