Amazon’s new Africa headquarters construction has been put on hold by the Western Cape high court, this come after some descendants of the country’s earliest inhabitants said the land it would be built on was sacred.
The Court interdicted the project developer from continuing with works at the Cape Town site until there had been meaningful engagement and consultation with affected indigenous peoples.
According to Judge Patricia Goliath’s ruling, “This matter ultimately concerns the rights of indigenous peoples. The fundamental right to culture and heritage of indigenous groups, more particularly the Khoi and San First Nations Peoples, are under threat in the absence of proper consultation.”
The Khoi and the San were the earliest inhabitants of South Africa, the latter roaming as hunter-gatherers for tens of thousands of years, and the former joining them as pastoralists more than 2,000 years ago.
Judge Goliath said her ruling should not be construed as a criticism of the development but that the core issue was that there needed to be proper consultation before it could go ahead.