n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - The gods will get you - a plea, exploration and assessment of possibilities for the rescuing of Phiphidi Wwaterfalls and other sacred cultural sites

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



This article is based on an analytical exploration and assessment of a variety of possible ways of saving cultural and sacred sites - such as the Phiphidi Waterfalls - and thereby possibly protecting the communities for which such sites are culturally sacred. The discussions will, where applicable, point to and lay out the possible arguments that could be raised and resorted to by affected communities in order to (hopefully permanently) protect such sites. Five possible approaches are discussed and tested. Firstly, the constitutional approach which entails enquiry into religious freedoms and the right to self-determination is dealt with. This is followed by the legislative approach, wherein the relevant provisions of the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 are dealt with. Thirdly, certain principles and concepts of 'property law' are interrogated to determine the applicability and suitability thereof to the protection of sacred sites. Fourthly, initiatives in the international arena, which are geared towards, and can therefore possibly be utilised for preserving and protecting cultural sites are explored. The exposition concludes the discussion with a survey of judicial precedents in the international environment which may serve as further authority for African tribes seeking to protect their sacred sites.

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