ON THE WATER
Bushmen are SA’s first nation no matter what minister says
Obed Bapela is unfit for his office if he does not know the Bushmen’s place as the first nation of SA, writes Neels Blom
Bushmen are SA’s first nation whether the government recognises them or not. Yet the Bushmen, known also by the K-word of the Kalahari, the Khoisan, will not be recognised the first nation of SA, Deputy Minister Obed Bapela has decreed. That, according to City Press, was what Bapela told the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs on the eve of his roadshow to promote the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill. If ever there has been a piece of proposed legislation invented by the ANC’s executive that best resembles the statutes of apartheid, the Traditional Leadership Bill is it. Aninka Claassens, director and chief researcher of the Land and Accountability Research Centre in the faculty of law at the University of Cape Town, detailed the wickedly divisive and oppressive intent behind the bill in her oped piece in Business Day last week.Bapela’s reference to Bushmen as Khoisan is evidence of his utter disrespect and negligent dis...