Leader of Griqua tribe dies

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Griqua council leader, Johannes Kraalshoek.

The political stalwart and leader of the Griqua tribe, Johannes Kraalshoek, has died at the age of 89 years.

The chairperson of the Free State Griqua Council, Frans Kraalshoek, tells OFM News the long-time custodian of the indigenous site, also known as Bethany, passed away on Wednesday in the Netcare Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein after being in and out of hospital for the past three months.

OFM News previously reported that Kraalshoek, who is described as a dynamic leader, took 48 years to restore land rights and to fight for the indigenous rights of the Khoi and San communities – particularly the Griqua communities in South Africa, and to restore the identity, culture, and language of the Griqua community in the Free State and South Africa.

The chairperson of the council expressed his gratitude to the Griqua community and the medical staff who looked after Johannes Kraalshoek.

“Today is one of the saddest days for the Griqua communities in South Africa, also after the loss of the life of Mr Le Fleur, who had passed away and who was buried in Cape Town last week – also one of the strong leaders of the Griqua communities. On this day, 9 March 2022, we are also saddened by the loss of the life of Captain Johannes Donkie Kraalshoek, who spent his last [days] with his family and his children in Bloemfontein,” he said.

The chairperson of the council adds that the family and council will be meeting to arrange details of the memorial services and the funeral, which will be communicated to the public soon. He also adds that they will be writing to the office of the presidency to give the captain a state funeral. He says that the traditional council will also convene and a press statement will be issued as soon as the new leader is elected.

OFM News/Kekeletso Mosebetsi