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Human Rights for the First Nation of South Africa

Tuesday, 20th March 2018 / 7pm

To honour and celebrate Human Rights Day, the Open Mosque is hosting a special dinner function on Tuesday, 20th March 2018 at 7pm when two prominent leaders of the Khoi and San peoples will deliver important keynote addresses on the pertinent subject of Human Rights for the First Nation of South Africa.

For the first time, representatives of the Khoisan community have been invited by an established Islamic House of Worship to give their own informed analyses on the history, heritage and future of the indigenous population of this country. For far too long, most South Africans have been conditioned either by historic colonialist indoctrination or by contemporary Black African nationalist propaganda that this land either belongs exclusively to European imperialists or to Bantu migrants. Both claims are factually incorrect and are a historical travesty. In contrast to every black, white or brown South African, the Khoisan alone are not foreign to this land. Everyone else, came from somewhere else. This is the incontestable reality of today’s South Africa.

Thousands of years before the all-conquering Black settlers from West Africa crossed the Limpopo in the 10th century on their militant southward sweep down the continent, and long before the White colonialists arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope in the 15th century, the whole of Southern Africa was inhabited by the native Khoi and San peoples. Significantly, the roaming Black tribes did not cross the Fish River nor settled in the Western Cape. The only locals were the Khoi and San. These nomadic pastoralists and stone-age hunter-gatherers had dominated the entire region for millennia. They were to be ejected or ethnically-cleansed from their ancestral homelands by vastly superior technology. First, by the iron-age Bantu tribes with their spears and assegais, and then later by the industrial-age Portuguese, Dutch and British invaders with their military canons and rifles. In this titanic conflict with both Black and White strangers, the ill-equipped native Brown residents were no match for deadly weapons of the Bantu tribes or the modern firearms of the Europeans.

The Khoisan were first defeated and decimated by the marauding Bantu tribes. This subjugation was but a precursor to their almost total annihilation by later Dutch and the British imperialists. The Khoisan’s subjection has sadly continued right to the present-day when these native people still find themselves downtrodden and marginalized in post-Apartheid South Africa. Now, taking a leaf from the original inhabitants of North America, Australia, Latin America and elsewhere, local Khoisan are rightly asserting themselves as the First Nation of South Africa.

South Africa belongs equally to everyone who lives in it according to the Freedom Charter and the South African constitution. This country’s development and progress into the industrial giant of Africa is the product of distinct interwoven contributions: white technology, coloured artisan skills, Indian entrepreneurship and black labour. No single group can legitimately propagate that they alone are responsible for South Africa’s modern advancement. It is truly regrettable that the ruling ANC and other political parties like the EFF falsely believe that they alone have a priority right or preferential claims to this country. This is completely untrue. No one, other than the indigenous Khoi and San, can make such unwarranted assertions.

For this reason, in view of the ANC’s opportunistic intention to expropriate land without compensation, the Open Mosque has taken the lead in inviting senior office-bearers from the Khoisan Legislative Council in the Western Cape, Chief Mackie and Headman Damons, to present the indigenous perspectives in their justifiable quest for human rights and their priority land claims to this part of the world.