BOTSWANA: GOVERNMENT LIES ON BUSHMAN HUNTING EXPOSED
(8 June 2005)
A government witness in the Bushman court case admitted yesterday that
there was no evidence that Bushmen living in the Central Kalahari Game
Reserve had been hunting using guns and vehicles, or hunting too many
The government has repeatedly justified the evictions by claiming that
the Bushmen had 'radically changed their traditional lifestyles' and
regularly hunted animals with high-powered rifles from four wheel drive
The witness - Joseph Matlhare, former Director of Wildlife - also failed
to support his claim that Bushmen had a serious negative impact on the
ecology of the reserve before they were evicted in 2002.
When asked whether mining for diamonds in the game reserve would not
also cause an unacceptable disturbance from an ecological point of
view, Matlhare answered, 'I don't see what you mean, acceptable or
unacceptable. If you're going to mine anyway, you would have to accept
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'Both the Botswana government and De Beers have alleged that the Bushmen hunted in the
reserve using rifles and trucks. This false and damaging allegation has
now been demolished in court. It's a tragedy that it's taken an expensive court case for them to admit this.'
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