South Africa: Khomani Bushman elder dies

September 28, 2006

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Sanna, the Khomani ‘Bushman', whose photograph features on Survival's ‘Bushmen aren't Forever' poster campaign, died last month.

Born around 1925, Sanna had lived through much in her lifetime, including the eviction of the Khomani from the Gemsbok National Park in the 1970s and the subsequent long years when they eked out an existence in squatter camps by the roadside.

She shared the joy of the Khomani when they finally regained part of their land bordering the park in March 1999, when President Thabo Mbeki signed over 40, 000 hectares of land to the community.

Marking her death, Sanna's husband Dawid Kruiper, also known as ‘Oorskietdood' or ‘Survivor', sent this message to supporters of the Khomani:
bushman woman debeers

‘I thank all those who have stood by and supported me and my people, now and in the past.

'I invite the world to study my and other Bushmen's history to understand how our attachment to and love of the land, and all that it nurtures has helped us survive all the trials we've been called upon to endure.

'I have hope for the future if the world pays great attention to its heart. I thank Survival International.'

The Khomani are still campaigning for land rights inside the park, renamed the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, when its border with the neighbouring Kalahari Gemsbok Park in Botswana was opened up in 2000.