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Current Affairs

Khoisans protests

Date: 19 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The leader of one of South Africa’s oldest inhabitant communities, Khoisans was arrested by the police for growing cannabis near office of the country’s president.

 

Background

The Khoisans are protesting near the president’s office from last three years demanding recognition of the community and their language among other things.

 

Details

The police took away King Khoisan from the cannabis crop he has been growing. There were officials deployed in riot gears to destroy the illegal plants.

 

Arrest

  • The king was arrested for planting and cultivating cannabis illegally in addition to not wearing mask at public place even after being told to do so.

  • The community members have criticized the actions as the government has not indulged in dialogue with the community.

 

The protests

  • The Protests started in November 2018 when the Khoisans marched from Port Elizabeth to Union buildings in Pretoria.

  • They declared that they would not move from their spot until their demands were not met. They have set up camps outside the offices.

 

Demands

  • Khoisans want them to be recognised as the first nation of the country. They are demanding to be declared rightful owners of the land that was historically taken from them. 

  • The language of the community, Khoekhoe, to be declared as another national language of the country.

  • Khoisans are also demanding that the government ban the word ‘coloured’ to describe people of the country, even though it is already considered as derogatory.

 

The Khoisans

  • Khoisans are a group of communities who practiced similar cultures and spoke the same languages – the Khoikhoi.

  • They are said to be the first people to inhabit South Africa. They practiced nomadic farming as well as hunting-gathering.

  • After the Dutch colonization of South Africa, the Khoisans were enslaved or killed. They were given derogatory terms such as ‘Bushmen’ and ‘Hottentots’.