NEWS 2005

 

EXPOSED: BOTSWANA USED DYING FATHER TO EVICT SONS

20 January 2005



Botswana's high court has heard how government officials evicted a dying man from his home in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and then returned to tell his sons that they would not see their father unless they agreed to be relocated.

Mogetse Kaboikanyo died just four months after he was evicted. His widow told Survival in the eviction site New Xade, 'This land killed my husband.'

The sick Mogetse Kaboikanyo from the community of Kikao was taken to New Xade in February 2002. His sons stayed behind. His son Losolobe Mogetse told the court how he had argued with an official who came to evict him, but had eventually left Kikao out of concern for his father: 'He said we
could not go to see the old man unless we agreed to relocate. We said we could not relocate in his absenceŠ. I finally gave up and agreed and we went with him.'

After years of struggling to remain on his land, Mogetse was buried in New Xade, far from the graves of his ancestors, because officials refused to allow Losolobe and his brothers to return his body to Kikao. He had repeatedly said he wished to die on his land. Before the evictions, Mogetse told Survival, 'These things are done to us because we are Bushman peopleŠ The government of Botswana calls itself a democracy. But it isn't so here. We are oppressed until we die, and soon
there will be no one left.' His full testimony can be read at
http://www.survival-international.org/bushman_statements_mogetse.htm 

The court case brought by 240 Bushmen against the government of Botswana continues. The Bushmen want to be able to return to their land and live there without fear of further eviction, and to hunt and gather freely.



SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE