JOHANNESBURG, There is optimism among Khoisan activists who had been on a hunger strike to seek the attention of the Presidency that the South African government will consider their demands to be recognized as a distinct ethnic group of the country.

They flew back home to Port Elizabeth Monday after meeting with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who accepted their memorandum at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Sunday. The activists had walked 1,160 kilometres from Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape Province to Pretoria to meet with President Jacob Zuma or Ramaphosa.

They want the government to recognize their language as official and name them as South Africa’s first people. The Khoisan people are a group of indigenous people who native to the country and are distinct from the majority Bantu native population, who migrated to southern Africa from northern and eastern Africa.

The meeting with Ramaphosa ended the activists’ hunger strike which had lasted more than two weeks. Ramaphosa assured the activists that the government would work in consultation with them on the matter.

The government is prepared, determined to handle this matter in a very responsible manner so as we handle it we will be consulting with you on an on-going basis so we will discuss all these matters but we will give consideration to your memorandum and we will be coming back to you, the deputy president told the group.


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