Bill will restore Khoisan's stolen dignity

06 October 2011 - 03:02 By Sapa

South Africa must fully recognise the status of the Khoi and San people, President Jacob Zuma said.

"As a democratic government, we cannot fail to address their challenges," he said in the National House of Traditional Leaders, in Pretoria.

Zuma said that, from the time of colonisation, occupying European governments had sought to dominate society.

One of the results, not documented in history books, was the decimation of the Khoisan, Zuma said.

"During the course of colonisation, they were undermined and their character and dignity almost destroyed."

Zuma said a comprehensive National Traditional Affairs Bill had been drafted to cover all aspects of traditional leadership, including the affairs of the Khoisan.

"I ... hope that the bill will fundamentally address the long historical challenge facing the Khoisan."

Zuma said the bill was a clear indication that the government took traditional leadership seriously.

"We have moved some distance, and are determined to go far in restoring the status of traditional leaders who are revered by [many] of our people," said Zuma.