Khoisan begin their annual walk with list of grievances

2015-02-19 00:00

UPINGTON — A group of Khoisan started their third annual 1 100 km trek from the Kalahari desert to Cape Town.

This year the annual symbolic hike started from the Andriesvale, about 200 km from Upington. They plan to arrive in Cape Town on February 28, meaning they will have to cover over 100 km a day on foot and in support vehicles.

The first walk in 2013 had seven men, which has since grown to 21 Khoisan of both sexes. As in the previous years, the group aim to hand over a list of ­grievances about the rights of ­indigenous people to the government.

One of the walkers who travelled from George in the Southern Cape to take part in the nine-day walk, Klintin Heems Whitehead, said the long hike out of the Kalahari has deep significance for the Khoisan. “We don’t look like our ­ancestors any more and it is important for us to show our people how important it is to hold on to our culture and what happens when you let go and just accept things,” the walker said.

Whitehead said the group will build an “indigenous embassy” outside ­Parliament where all indigenous tribes can sit around a table and discuss matters close to their hearts.

“Our government treats us like foreigners in our own country. That is why we will now build an embassy,” he said.

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