Khoisan tribes aim to get youth on board

The Cochoqua tribe met at Jolly Carp to celebrate movement in their quest for heritage status.

The Cochoqua tribe, celebrated Heritage Day (September 24) at Jolly Carp, in Sassmeer Village, Retreat, on Saturday September 22.

They also used the opportunity to discuss their future and to recruit youngsters to who will ensure the heritage of the Khoisan is protected.

Last year the National Assembly passed the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership which aims to recognise Khoisan leader-
ship structures and communities.The Cochoqua tribe was among 10 tribes, which included the Attaqua, Hessequa, Gouriqua, Outeniqua, Hamcumqua. Goringhaicona, Ghainoqua and Goragoqua, from the Western Cape, which attended the meeting, on Saturday.

Chairperson Chief John Jansen, from Retreat said the Khoisan tribes in attendance formed part of the National Khoisan Council (NKC) which represents five main groups: the San, Nama, Corana, Griqua, and the Cape Khoi. “These groups were established during the former President Nelson Mandela’s regime, in 1998,” he said. After consulting with the community to draft a bill, it was presented to Parliament, which came back to the tribes, to peruse, but now they are waiting on President Cyril Rhamphosa’s approval of the Bill, he added.

Jolly Carp’s new manager Tony Klein, who has been renting the property since March said he was willing to allow the Khoisan tribes to use Jolly Carp as a venue to showcase their traditional celebrations and to share their history with the youth.

Mr Jansen thanked Mr Klein and emphasised how important it was to preserve history. “Our people were stripped of our identity (and we) were moved to areas where gangsterism is rife. “If you don’t know your heritage you won’t know where to go,” he said.