Our human rights are violated - Khoi and San chair

2015-11-25 16:00
Khoisan men singing. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Khoisan men singing. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Johannesburg - Chairperson of the Gauteng Khoi and San council John van Rooyen said on Wednesday government had neglected their communities.

He bemoaned what he called a “violation of human rights” for the community, saying that after 21 years into democracy they have still not been included in the Constitution.

"Government does not include us in their decisions and we are only recognised once in the Constitution," he said at the opening of the hearing into human rights violations in South African Khoisan communities, held in Johannesburg.

The meeting is being hosted by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

“There is a reason why we are furious, and that is because government is not doing anything for us,” he said.

“There is one part in the Constitution that talks about the Khoi and San and that only refers to the languages – we are saying that is a problem.”

He complained about government considering Mandarin as a language, while neglecting the Khoi and San communities.

Van Rooyen said while their community faces dire situation, they should be included in poverty reduction strategies.  

“Poverty reduction strategies focused on the needs of specific groups must include also the indigenous communities, just as they are now focused on women, youth, or people with disabilities,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Khoi and San communities delivered a memorandum of demands to the SAHRC regarding access to basic services, land, and the constitutionality of the indigenous groups.

The hearing will continue on Thursday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  culture  |  human rights

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