The South African Government Will Not Constitutionally Recognize The First Nation


“Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, ‘Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished (hungry)!’ Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’ ‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said. ‘What good is the birthright to me?’ But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So, he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.”– Genesis 25:29-33

The story of Jacob and Esau is a mirror story of the NKC (NKSC) and the South African Government. They too, like Esau, sold our Birthright for a bowl of soup! ‘Swear to me First’ the government said to the NKSC, and they did, the result is the illicit Traditional and Leadership Act 2019.

We witness with disbelieve the celebrations of Khoe and San Leaders with President Cyril Ramaphosa, as they embrace the fraudulent Traditional and Khoe-San Leadership Act, which will come into effect on 1st April 2021. Do the National Khoe and San Council members understand the damage they have caused and the punishment which will follow for their betrayal of our People’s prized possessions? History will deal with them and unfortunately, their children’s children will suffer as a result of political expediency (convenience).

A piecemeal (disjointed or incoherent) process happens usually irregularly, and it means that it is not done satisfactory. We are not satisfied with the deal the NKSC is putting on the table. Some amongst the NKSC hold the view that they just wanted ‘foot in the door’. What does that mean? Because of their acceptance and conceding (surrender) to governments’ ill-conceived laws, the First Nation People or Coloured People of South Africa will continue to suffer unimaginable pain and misery.

Canada is exemplary (model) in every respect! The political leaders signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) in 2018. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007, by a majority of 144 states in favor, 4 votes against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States) and 11 abstentions.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international instrument adopted by the United Nations on September 13, 2007, to enshrine (according to Article 43) the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” Believe it or not, we as People who are Coloureds have been identified as the First Indigenous People of South Africa. In 2005 the UN Special Rapporteur, Rodolfo Stavenhagen recommended in his report on the situation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people “that indigenous communities be recognized as such “Constitutionally” and that the legal institutions maintaining the stigma of their classification as “Coloureds” by the apartheid regime be removed.” Constitutionally, not in an Act! Wat verstaan die mense nie? The UNDRIP protects collective rights that may not be addressed in other human rights charters that emphasize individual rights, and it also safeguards the individual rights of Indigenous people. The Declaration is the product of almost 25 years of deliberation by U.N. member states and Indigenous groups. The first of the UNDRIP’s 46 articles declare that “Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (4) and international human rights law.” The Declaration goes on to guarantee the rights of Indigenous peoples to enjoy and practice their cultures and customs, their religions, and their languages, and to develop and strengthen their economies and their social and political institutions. Indigenous peoples have the right to be free from discrimination, and the right to a nationality. So, why does the South African government refuse to sign this document which they voted for? Something is missing…

Interestingly, it was during the Durban Review Conference (home soil) in April 2009, where 182 States from all regions of the world reached consensus on an outcome document in which they “ Welcome[d] the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which has a positive impact on the protection of victims and, in this context, urge[d] States to take all necessary measures to implement the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with international human rights instruments without discrimination…” (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Outcome Document of the Durban Review Conference, 24 April 2009, para. 73).

South Africa voted ‘In Favor’ of UNDRIP. Yet they refuse to sign it into law, why?

Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P. – Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada wrote a heart-warming account of what the Canadian government is currently doing to truly ‘Recognize’ the First Nation People called the Metis and Inuit. In her mandate letter from the Prime Minister, she was tasked as Attorney General of Canada to review the Government of Canada’s litigation (lawsuit) strategy. She was mandated to make decisions to ‘End Appeals or Positions Inconsistent’ with the Government’s commitments, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canadian values. Unlike in South Africa where Barbara Creecy is currently challenging the Fishing Rights of our People. Let me remind you, we are talking about Fishing Rights which our People always had before Settlers came to our Land.

Jody was tasked to scrutinize the Government of Canada’s publication of the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples (the Principles), and they have stated their commitment to a significant move away from the status quo and a fundamental change in Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. That includes the Crown’s conduct in litigation.

On February 14, 2018, the Prime Minister of Canada further confirmed the Government’s shift to the recognition of rights as the basis for relations with Indigenous peoples, and that a new recognition and implementation of rights framework would be developed to ‘Operationalize Recognition’.

The Principles are rooted in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, guided by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the UN Declaration), and informed by the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s Calls to Action. Now wait a minute, in South Africa, they recognize the First Nation People in an Act and think that is sufficient. No! It’s not and we should not fall the fraudulent legal framework. Canada has both constitutional and international recognition for their First Nation People, here the NKC or NKSC is satisfied with ‘nothing’. It is ridiculous!

At the core of the Canadian Principles, it seeks to further the full promise of section 35 of their Constitution Act, 1982 through the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights.

So, those Khoe and San Leaders who are currently celebrating the commencement of the Traditional and Khoe-San Leadership Act must enjoy their moment of fun, because soon it ‘Will’ come crumbling down and the legacy of the ruling party will suffer irreparable damage, again.

Remember, the Blood of Our Ancestors who fought for this Land and their Identity is calling from the Soil. It will be atoned by those who are resolute that our recognition as First and Foundation People cannot be bought!

The People Liberate Themselves!
13th March 2021

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