First-nation status for Khoisan ‘unsustainable’

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The government does not want the Khoisan people to be declared as the “first nation” of South Africa, warning this would create divisions in the country and would not be sustainable.

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela, who is responsible for traditional affairs, warned the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs this week against some of the demands by Khoisan leaders, who are getting statutory recognition from the government for the first time since 1994.

Bapela addressed MPs a day before they took off for their nationwide public hearings on the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, which provides for, among other things, the statutory recognition of the legitimate Khoisan leadership and communities, and has been in the pipeline for some time.

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