Khoisan begin their an­nual walk with list of griev­ances

The Witness - Wheels - - NEWS POLITICS - ANENA BURGER

UPING­TON — A group of Khoisan started their third an­nual 1 100 km trek from the Kala­hari desert to Cape Town.

This year the an­nual sym­bolic hike started from the An­dries­vale, about 200 km from Uping­ton. They plan to ar­rive in Cape Town on Fe­bru­ary 28, mean- ing they will have to cover over 100 km a day on foot and in sup­port ve­hi­cles.

The first walk in 2013 had seven men, which has since grown to 21 Khoisan of both sexes. As in the pre­vi­ous years, the group aim to hand over a list of griev­ances about the rights of in­dige­nous peo­ple to the gov­ern­ment.

One of the walk­ers who trav­elled from Ge­orge in the South­ern Cape to take part in the nine- day walk, Klintin Heems White­head, said the long hike out of the Kala­hari has deep sig­nif­i­cance for the Khoisan. “We don’t look like our an­ces­tors any more and it is im­por­tant for us to show our peo­ple how im­por­tant it is to hold on to our cul­ture and what hap­pens when you let go and just ac­cept things,” the walker said.

White­head said the group will build an “in­dige­nous em­bassy” out­side Par­lia­ment where all in­dige­nous tribes can sit around a ta­ble and dis­cuss mat­ters close to their hearts.

“Our gov­ern­ment treats us like for­eign­ers in our own coun­try. That is why we will now build an em­bassy,” he said.

PHOTO: ANENA BURGER

A group of Khoisan em­bark on their third an­nual 1 100 km walk to Cape Town where they plan to hand over a list of griev­ances about the rights of in­dige­nous peo­ple to the gov­ern­ment. The walk­ers in front are from left: Piet Berendse from Uping­ton, Mona Oliesaager from Ge­orge, Willem Swartz from An­dries­vale, Bradley van Sit­ters from Ge­orge and Tol­man Vaal­booi from Uping­ton.

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