Could Not Disobey Directive
to the web May 24, 2005
director of national parks, Jan Broekhuis said yesterday that the department
was not at liberty to disobey a presidential directive issued on October 2002.
During a re-examination in the Basarwa relocation case by the lead state
counsel Sidney Pilane, Broekhuis said the directive stipulated that the
national parks regulations be strictly enforced within the Central Kalahari
Game Reserve (CKGR).
It stated that
there should be regular patrols within and along the CKGR boundaries by the
department. It ordered that special game licences for domestic purposes be
exclusively issued to residents of relocation settlements of Kaudwane and New
Xade for hunting in the wildlife management area. The directive said that all
people who have been relocated and compensated should not be allowed to
resettle in the CKGR and that government adopt a policy that no amenities and
facilities should be provided to people remaining in the reserve. Pilane said
that he was bringing up the directive because issues related to special game
licences and enforcement of regulations had been discussed in the
cross-examination and it had been implied that there was political
interference in the preparation of the management plan for parks. Broekhuis
said that at the time of writing the draft plan, they were no longer providing
special game licences to the people of CKGR. He said at the time, there were
17 people who had declined to relocate from the reserve.
He said they
were not at liberty to ignore Section 12 of Wildlife Conservation and National
Parks Act of 1992 when dealing with the people of CKGR. The section states
that no person shall hunt in a game reserve or sanctuary. He said this did not
only apply to CKGR but to other game reserves as well. He said hunting without
a permit is regarded as poaching. He said domestic livestock would emerge
winners against wildlife, as it was a form of industry that was more powerful
and would gain access to water and grazing land. He said people in the CKGR
had chosen New Xade as one of the resettlement areas because its resources
were good. He said they were aware that they had other choices.
He said the
2002 relocation taskforce report that stated that people had wanted to return
to CKGR, showed that 88.5 percent wished to stay at the settlement. Commenting
on another relocation from Makgadikgadi pans national parks, he said the Zaoga
people were the last to relocate in 2003. He said that the people had to
relocate due the construction of a fence and that there had been prior
consultations. Broekhuis said there were no human populations in Makgadikgadi
that was declared a national park in the 1970s. He said the former residents
were compensated, moved and there had been no objections.
the First People of Kalahari (FPK) were not entitled to have all their views
and preferences incorporated in the draft final plan, which was the official
position of the department. He said the FPK understood that any consultations
would have to be approved by the department.
Pilane asked Broekhuis about the disparity of figures found in the draft final
and third draft plan. Broekhuis said there was no reason to believe the data
was unreliable. However, he had said under cross-examination that the 1990
results of two dry season surveys of gemsbok had anomalies. But yesterday he
stated that the results depended on the situation. In the end, Justice Mpaphi
Phumaphi noted that the number of gemsbok did not really go to the root of the
case. He said at the end of the day, they needed to determine whether people
were coerced out of the CKGR or not. But Basarwa lawyer, Gordon Bennett
explained that in his sworn affidavit, the former director of national parks,
Joe Matlhare said that human settlements were a disturbance to wildlife.
Bennett added that Basarwa expert witness, Arthur Albertson, said there was no
serious impact of human settlements on wildlife. Another judge Maruping
Dibotelo urged the two counsels to confine themselves to issues and minimise
objections. The case continues today.