First-na­tion sta­tus for Khoisan ‘un­sus­tain­able’

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and do­ing away with sep­a­rate struc­tures for the Khoisan.

“Let’s not go into the temp­ta­tion of giv­ing them the first­na­tion sta­tus.

“If we go that route, it’s un­sus­tain­able … be­cause they would then want their own gov­ern­ment within the gov­ern­ment sys­tem that we have,” said Bapela.

He ex­plained that the UN def­i­ni­tion of first na­tion is ap­pli­ca­ble in Latin Amer­ica and Canada, where peo­ple were com­pletely re­moved from their land and some ar­rived and set­tled there.

He said that in South Africa, the land still be­longs to the Khoisan, to­gether with other in­dige­nous peo­ple of Africa, “rather than the first na­tion be­cause we do not know who ar­rived at which point, when and where, and that his­tory is not easy to trace”.

The di­rec­tor-gen­eral for tra­di­tional af­fairs, Muza­mani Charles Nwaila, had ear­lier ex­plained that the is­sue of first­na­tion sta­tus has got ben­e­fits at­tached to it. He said that at the UN, those that had first-na­tion sta­tus had got to have their own gov­ern­ment, own schools, own eco­nomic sys­tem and own set-up.

“But South Africa is a sov­er­eign state and you can’t have a state within a state,” he said.

A doc­u­ment pre­sented to the com­mit­tee re­vealed that the

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