Khoi, San go to court to reclaim land

20 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Khoi, San go to court to reclaim land

The Herald

JOHANNESBURG. – Groups representing the descendants of South Africa’s earliest inhabitants, the Khoi and San, went to court yesterday to try to halt construction of Amazon’s new 70 000-square metre Africa headquarters on land they regard as sacred.

The culturally-intertwined San and Khoi were the first inhabitants of South Africa. The former lived as hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years, and the latter joined them as pastoralists more than 2,000 years ago.

Some Khoi and San welcome the prospect of jobs from the R4 billion development near Cape Town, including a hotel, retail offices and homes, and with Amazon– which employs thousands of people in data hubs in the city – as its main tenant.

But the project has faced a backlash from Khoi and San community leaders, who say they represent the majority of their people.

The legal action is against the project developer Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust, the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Province and a group of Khoi and San who support the development. The court case is due to last three days.

The site lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Black River and the Liesbeek, of paramount spiritual significance to both groups. It will also block their view to the equally sacred Lion’s Head mountain, said Tauriq Jenkins of the Goringhaicona Khoena Council, a Khoi traditional group opposed to the project. – Reuters

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