BBC'S JOHN SIMPSON: MISERY OF EVICTED BUSHMEN
26 APRIL 2005
In a high-profile article published yesterday, the BBC's World Affairs
Editor John Simpson reveals how shocked he was by his visit to the
evicted Gana and Gwi Bushmen. '[In New Xade eviction camp] I saw men
staggering round, drunk from early in the morning on the beer which
costs next to nothing,' he says. 'When the Botswana government takes
foreign guests to New Xade on fact-finding trips, it shows them the
showcase schools and clinics which have been built for the Bushmen.
[They] take a detour in order to miss the shebeens [bars].'
Simpson writes a weekly column for the BBC's website - the world's most
widely read news site. He believes, despite the denials of De Beers and
the Botswana government, that the Gana and Gwi Bushmen were evicted from
the Central Kalahari because of diamonds.
'I used not to believe that this was the real cause, but now I have
changed my mind,' he says. 'Somehow, it is too much of a coincidence
that so much wealth lies under the land of so few Bushmen.'
Simpson highlights the Botswana government's attempt to remove from
Botswana's constitution the clause that protects the Bushmen. The UK's
Independent newspaper has also reported the likely amendment: 'The
scrapping of the clause, halfway through the case, appears designed to
ensure that the Bushmen cannot win in court.'
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