A handful of Khoi San activists are now “unofficially occupying” Table Mountain. They have built structures, and have told authorities that they have the support of the United Nations (UN) in reclaiming the land on and around the mountain.
The land grab was first reported last week, and resulted in a confrontation between the activists and the South African National Parks (SANParks) when they settled in Cecelia Forest.
As reported by The South African, the group wishes for government to allow them the right to live at the base of Table Mountain. No due process has been filed, however. As a result, the group has been forbidden from spending the night, and their temporary huts have also been dismantled.
“There are still people that are occupying that particular area. The structures that have been erected have been demolished. They are campaigning against the government to allow them to live in the area. This is a very thorny matter, but we have other national parks that have gone through this process and their issues were sorted out,” said Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli, SANPAarks spokesperson. “At this stage, we aren’t aware of any official claim that has been filed. We allow them to be there during the day but, of course, we wouldn’t allow them to set up fires and we are not allowing them to be there throughout the evening. There are no land claims we know of in Cecelia Forest…we are taking the matter with these people on a daily basis.”
The same Khoi San activists served an eviction notice to Parliament in 2018. According to Thakhuli, SANParks is engaged in “constructive dialogue” with the group.
Picture: SA Venues