Khoisan Four head home for Christmas after Ramaphosa meeting

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Khoisan Chief SA with the activists outside the Union Buildings. (Leon Sadiki/City Press)
Khoisan Chief SA with the activists outside the Union Buildings. (Leon Sadiki/City Press)

Johannesburg - Four Khoisan men who went on hunger strike at the Union Buildings, are now heading home after their Christmas wish, to meet with Cyril Ramaphosa, came true on Sunday.

"We are over the moon; we are just grateful and thanking God for it – we have prayed for it," one of the members of the group, Christian Martin, aged 37, told News24.

"We are arranging the flights to be back home for Christmas."

He said that he was in church when Ramaphosa came to visit on Sunday morning, but that other members of the group including Brendon Billings, 37, and Shane Plaatjies, 23, were there to hand over a memorandum to the country’s deputy president.

Asked for comment on how the meeting with Ramaphosa went, Plaatjies response to News24 was via a Whatsapp message composed simply of three emojis of praying hands.

Chief Khoisan SA, aged 49, is the leader of the quartet of cultural activists, who with Billings and Plaatjies, walked more than 1 200km from the Eastern Cape to Gauteng in an attempt to have the Khoisan people recognised as the first nation in SA.

The memorandum handed over also asks for Kwadi–Khoe to be listed as an official language, for Khoisan to be identified as such and not as coloured and that land and resources are given to the Khoisan community in order to ensure the longevity of their culture and traditions.

READ: There's a Khoisan on Zuma's stoep

Arriving at the Khoisan Four’s – as they have been dubbed on social media – location on Sunday morning with an entourage, Ramaphosa’s first comment to them was an enquiry as to their wellbeing, issued while warmly shaking hands.

Ramaphosa, dressed in a black and white patterned shirt, then sat down in one of their camping chairs to sign a copy of the memorandum.

Martin, who has been at the tree which the men designated their kraal at the Union Buildings, was diagnosed as being in danger of suffering a stroke as the hunger strike entered its 16th day. All the men suffered severe weight loss and other health problems during their protest.

On Sunday, Martin said that while he had not yet broken his fast, "as far as I am concerned, at least I can drink a juice."

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