‘Coloured’ classification was ‘bloodless genocide’ – Khoi, San


The land must be returned symbolically first to the Khoi and San, and then a negotiated settlement is justified, the group insists.

The 1950s Population Registration Act was a bloodless genocide that wiped out the Khoi and San peoples by recording their race as “coloured” – and it’s a crime still perpetuated today, the Indigenous First Nation Advocacy South Africa (Ifnasa) group said yesterday in Johannesburg.

Ifnasa CEO Anthony Phillip Williams was speaking after the Khoi and San Land Summit, where a number of resolutions were made, despite media reports to the contrary.

“The Khoi and San Land Summit founding statement is that racial categorisation perpetuates racism,” Williams said. “We reject the so-called black notion, because it’s a colonial imposed label, racially motivated, and devoid of any academic or intellectual substance.

“The land called South Africa historically was occupied by the San and the Khoi before any other group. The land must be returned symbolically first to the Khoi and San, and then a negotiated settlement is justified.”

Williams said the symbolic gesture could be handled by a ceremony.

“Particularly to have the San and Khoi people present at the ceremony, however it happens, because, most importantly, it’s a spiritual unfolding, a spiritually symbolic gesture to return the land to the Khoi and San first so our ancestors can rest.”

He added: “They are not resting because the land was brutally taken away from us and in the democratic South Africa we have been relegated again to the periphery as mere onlookers.”

Williams said that given the descendants’ direct genetic link to Khoi and San peoples, their racial classification as “coloured” was completely rejected.

“The summit’s resolve is for the constitution to be amended, firstly, to affirm the Khoi and San as First Nation People, and that section 25 be removed because subsection 7 excludes the Khoi and San claim to land before 1913.

“We call on government to establish a Special Land Tribunal because the indigenous First Nation people were deliberately sidelined at the pre-democracy settlement negotiations.”


Classification –

  • ‘Native’ refers to a person who in fact is, or is generally accepted as, a member of any aboriginal race or tribe of Africa;
  • ‘Coloured’ refers to a person who is not white or a native – Population Registration Act of 1950