Indigenous claim, Khoisan first on the land

by David Seiner, South Africa

“For years, we have been calling to government to give us recognition as the first nation. For years, we have been handing over memorandums,” Chief Khoisan SA

South AfricaEditor’s Note – Our contributing editor David Seiner lives in South Africa and is partly Khoisan ethnic heritage.

Definition of Khoisan from NPR:

Some 22,000 years ago, they were the largest group of humans on earth: the Khoisan, a tribe of hunter-gatherers in southern Africa.

Today, only about 100,000 Khoisan, who are also known as Bushmen, remain. Stephan C. Schuster, professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has published new research about the tribe, many of whom now live in poverty, their cultural traditions endangered. We spoke to Schuster about his study and the lives of the Khoisan.

Indigenous not recognized by SA government

Khoisan demographics, continuing:

First of all, the fact that 7 billion people now live on earth makes it almost impossible for us to understand how few people lived in the past. About 10,000 years ago, there were not more than 1 million on the planet. And 100,000 years ago, only a few 10,000s. The whole genome sequences we analyzed show that there was a time when the non-Khoisan peoples were not doing as well as the Khoisans.

Our early history in SA was well documented by Van Riebeeck & the Dutch East India Co. (Please do read up about Krotoa, also known as ‘Eva’ or Eve, & Pieternella) and you’ll see where my family history starts Contrary to “narrative” many happily intermarried & produced large families.

African DNA distinct

Some contend this is because were among the earliest explorers out of and cite their use of fat tailed sheep from the Anatolian region/Turkey as evidence. Others reckon they didn’t get beyond Mesopotamia. Either way, distinctly different DNA from other

We Khoisan all have that interesting and unexplained ancient Eurasian admixture that distinguishes us from other tribes, which is rather fascinating! We take pride in being the most ancient branch of the human family. Our Blombos Cave civilization dates to 100k YBP.

Now an interesting political development here in South Africa.  Nationwide elections were held here 3 weeks ago.

Excerpted from Elections ’19,

Defiant tribal group ‘swears in’ their own leader of SA

“In an act of defiance, a small group of Khoisan chose election day to symbolically inaugurate their own chosen leader of South Africa.

On the steps of the Union Buildings in Tshwane… Chief Khoisan SA was symbolically elected as the nation’s leader.

The choice to inaugurate Chief Khoisan SA follows months of waiting for government to declare the Khoi and the San people the first nation of South Africa…

“For years, we have been calling to government to give us recognition as the first nation. For years, we have been handing over memorandums,” Chief Khoisan SA told News24.”


From, May 2024,

Khoisan Union Buildings protest still going

In an interview with King Khoisan SA, he says that the government is still reluctant to meaningfully engage with them after six years.

Entering the sixth year of its protest outside the Union Buildings, the Khoisan group remains steadfast in its determination.

The group that has been camping in the garden at the Union Buildings since December 5, 2018 said it remains determined in the quest for First Nation recognition and land rights.


The simple reason is that if you continue telling the story, someone somewhere will get angry and say: ‘It is not justice that has been done to the First Nation people, why are you letting them stay there for such a long time?’”

Khoisan said they claim three provinces as their land – the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape though they believe they are entitled to the whole country.

With the elections coming up at the end of the month, the group said it will not vote as protest and because it doesn’t recognise the unitary government.


Author Eric

FSU grad, US Navy Veteran. Houston, Texas

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