Khoisan must be recognised: Zuma

2011-10-05 19:45
Johannesburg - South Africa must fully recognise the status of the Khoi and San people, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

"As a democratic government, we cannot fail to address their challenges," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the National House of Traditional Leaders in Pretoria.

He said from the time of colonisation, occupying European governments had sought to dominate society. One of the results, not documented in history books, was the decimation of the Khoisan.

"During the course of colonisation they were undermined and their character and dignity almost destroyed."

Zuma said a comprehensive national traditional affairs bill had been drafted to cover all aspects of traditional leadership, including the affairs of the Khoisan.

"I ... hope that the bill will fundamentally address the long historical challenge facing the Khoisan."

Zuma said the bill was a clear indication of how the government took traditional leadership seriously. Once interested parties had made their inputs and the bill was passed by Parliament, it would be signed into law by the president.

"We have moved some distance, and are determined to go far in restoring the status of traditional leaders who are revered by scores of our people," said Zuma.

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