BUSHMEN'S COURT CASE RESTARTS NEXT WEEK
5 August 2005
The Gana and Gwi Bushmen's court case against the Botswana government
restarts on Monday 8 August after a seven-week adjournment. The case is
being fought over the Bushmen's right to live on their ancestral land in
the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and to hunt and gather freely.
Before the case was adjourned in June, a government witness admitted
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 animals. Another government witness admitted that a proposal to
provide water to the Bushmen in the reserve at zero cost to the government had been ignored. The government has repeatedly claimed that
it evicted the Bushmen because they had been 'overhunting' using guns
and vehicles, and that providing water to them was 'too expensive'.
The case is being heard at Botswana's High Court in Lobatse. The Bushmen
first filed the case in April 2002, following the evictions in February
that year, but it was thrown out on a technicality. The Bushmen appealed
and won the right to have the case heard, and it began in July 2004. The
case has since faced long delays.
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