Almost one year now, since agitated Khoisan started camping at Union Buildings

The dogged group will  apparently not bat an eyelid, until their demands are met.
It will soon mark a year since Khoisan people started camping at the Union Buildings and their stay has been met with nothing but negligence and difficulties according to their leader Chief Khoisan SA.
 
From living inside badly damaged tents, bracing cold weather during winter, to being fed by members of the public, their spirits however remain solid, saying they have come too far to budge now.   
 
The Chief reflected on their nine-month stay saying no one from the Presidency has come to address them. 
He conceded however that they needed a new plan to intensify pressure on the Presidency to act promptly, as they had never planned to stay this long. 
 
A plan to shut down the country was at a mobilising stage, he said.  
 
The group made a similar journey back in 2017 where they camped for 24 days until Cyril Ramaphosa, then as deputy president, went to see them on Christmas Eve. Of those, 17 days were spent on a hunger strike.
“We are waiting patiently. The situation is becoming very tense in a way that when we arrived here we didn’t expect it to be here this long. This has made our lives stop at a certain point and for us it’s coming to a point that we need to find other sorts of protests to push the government to act.
 
“But despite this, we are not backing down, even if it means that one of our people even die on this spot,” he said. 
 
He said there were good Samaritans feeding them, especially those who visited the Union Buildings and were astonished by their story.  
 
Among their issues is being accorded status as the first nation in the country. They also wanted to be consulted by government on every land issue as they are believed to be the custodians of all land.
 
He said they were told the group would be moved to allow grass where their campsite it to be cut, which he said would damage their shelter even more. 
 
“The problem is not about whether it will be permanent or not but it’s about the strain that it will put on our tents, because they were not made to stick to one place for a very long time. If they move us we won’t be able to put them up again. Already the tents are falling apart so moving to a different spot would just damage it,” he said.
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