Who are the KhoiSan people?The KhoiSan people are the First People of Southern Africa. This fact is undisputed. There is empirical evidence that the Khoi-San are de facto the First People.The KhoiSan are the only nation that can legitimately claim ownership of the land and its resources. Their habitation of the territories across all of South Africa can be dated back over 100,000 years, with some researchers declaring the figure to be over 750,000 years.
The KhoiSan genetic profile is so ancient and distinct, that no other human groups bear the same DNA profiles. The DNA evidence shows that the KhoiSan existed in total isolation from other tribes or people of Africa for well over 140,000 years. The archaeological records are clear on the KhoiSan habitation of the South African territories. The first traces of archaeological evidence of Bantu-speaking people is 1100 AD and only in the far north-eastern corner of South Africa, in northern KwaZulu Natal. These were migrant groups of Nguni moving down eastern Africa from the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.
The main waves of these foreign migrants from the north began crossing the Limpopo River around1290, dispersing slowly down the northern and eastern territories (current KwaZulu Natal), with the AmaXhosa reaching the eastern banks of the Keiskamma River in early 1700s.
The first written records from 1488 onwards record the KhoiSan being the only inhabitants of the Cape Colony territories prior to the importation of slaves by the Dutch from 1654 onwards, who were shipped in to provide cheap labour for the farms. The KhoiSan were not willing to be slaves or indentured servants in their own land, and successively resisted the invading Dutch settlers’ grabbing of their heritage lands.
It was only the two smallpox epidemics in 1713 and 1755 which temporarily crushed the KhoiSan resistance to the Dutch. Nearly 30% of the KhoiSan population was destroyed by the smallpox outbreaks, with most of the survivors inhabiting the outlying areas of the Cape Colony. Without the devastation brought about by these life-destroying epidemics, the history of South Africa would be entirely different
The KhoiSan continued to resist and fight back, from continuous skirmishes and even open warfare right up to 1878, when the KhoiSan allied with the Xhosa in a rebellion against the loss of their lands in Griqualand to the white settlements. The rebellion was crushed by colonial forces
For “political convenience”, successive governments have labelled the KhoiSan as “Coloureds” in order to down-play the First People’s absolute rights and entitlement to the land. The present-day government, despite all their rhetoric for addressing historic evils and dispossession, continues to perpetuate this “Coloured” myth in order to avoid the obvious legitimacy of the KhoiSan land claims, while driving forward their own illegitimate agenda for restoration of all South African land to the Bantu-speaking people. History clearly demonstrates this to be a false narrative.
“Title Deeds” are a modern trap to alienate First Peoples from their land, and arose through the imposition of illegal colonial legislation drafted for the purposes of controlling and dispossessing the indigenous people. The various authorities’ claims that the KhoiSan did not hold Title Deeds to their own land, is mischievous adulteration of history. Throughout the millennia, the KhoiSan have moved about their territories with their communities and livestock in freedom and respect for other KhoiSan communities.
Hostility and warfare were only ever engaged in when acts of dishonesty or violence were perpetuated against them.Despite extensive efforts to engage with the new Regime over restitution of historic wrongs arising from colonial and foreign invasions, the KhoiSan have remained marginalised and alienated from the new Regimes’ circles of favour, consideration and benefit.