IN CHAOS - GOVERNMENT LAWYER 'ARRESTED' - BUSHMAN RESERVE SEALED
sealed off, Bushmen threatened at gunpoint
Wildlife guards have entered the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and are
threatening Bushmen at gunpoint in an attempt to force them to abandon their
As Botswana's crackdown on the Gana and Gwi Bushmen mounts, there are fears
that the government is intent on re-evicting the 200-250 Bushmen still living
on their land.
The government has banned all outsiders, including journalists, from the
Reserve, and is trying to stop the Bushmen inside having any way of
communicating with the outside world.
The government has announced that it has sealed off the Reserve because a
disease called sarcoptic mange has been found in the Bushmen's goats. This
‘discovery' came after an American zoologist called Dr Kathleen Alexander,
who is a former government employee, went into the Reserve in July to
‘inspect' the Bushmen's goats. A government spokesman said the disease has a
‘high fatality rate'.
But Dr James Wood, head of Cambridge University Veterinary School's Infectious
Diseases Consortium, said today, 'Sarcoptic mange does not have a high
fatality rate. It can be easily treated in domestic animals, and there is
little danger of wild animals catching it from the Bushmen's goats. There is
no reason to close a Game Reserve because of its presence there.'
Thirty of those still living in the reserve resisted eviction completely in
2002, while the rest returned to their homes after the evictions despite
government opposition. Hundreds more Bushmen wait in resettlement camps,
desperate to return.
Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Botswana's reputation is now
linked inextricably with the fate of the Bushmen. As the country destroys the
Gana and Gwi Bushmen, it corrupts its own reputation - perhaps forever. I
don't think people will want diamonds dug from the Bushmen's grave as symbols
of their love, and I don't think tourists will be attracted to the country
which destroyed the last hunting Bushmen in the world. We will make sure that
people know the connections. There's more than reputation at stake now,
Botswana's government is destroying the country's only sources of wealth.'
IN CHAOS - GOVERNMENT LAWYER 'ARRESTED' - BUSHMAN RESERVE SEALED
Crack down on the Botswana overlord governance and their corporate
stirrup holders wherever you find them!
BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT and CUT BOTSWANA BUSINESS AND THEIR
PRESENT GOVERNANCE OUT FROM ANYTHING AND WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM !
- Until they stop the ethnocide and genocide against the First
Peoples of the Kalahari - the Bushmen!
KICK THE PRESENT BOTSWANA GOVERNANCE OUT OF THE UN, since they do
not listen to the findings of the UN High Commissioner on Human
Rights and his Special Rapporteur anyway!
BOTSWANA is persistently violating ILO 169! http://www.khoisanpeoples.org/indepth/ind-ilo-no-169.htm
And like in Namibia and South-Africa, in compliance of and
complicity with European and other Northern World interests in
natural resources exploitation as well as together with the
massive proselytism by the churches, the overlord governance in
Botswana is guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, which
must bring them and their corporate allies in crime before the
International Criminal Court of Justice.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was
established in 2002
as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide,
against humanity, and war
crimes, as defined by several international agreements, most
prominently the Rome
Statute of the International Criminal Court.
see also: http://www.khoisanpeoples.org
BOTSWANA: COURT IN CHAOS
- GOVERNMENT LAWYER 'ARRESTED'
- BUSHMAN RESERVE SEALED OFF
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
1 September 2005
The Botswana government's lead attorney in the Bushman case was
today ordered to be arrested and imprisoned. In some of the most
extraordinary scenes ever witnessed in any high court, attorney
Sidney Pilane, refusing to allow any policeman to touch him, fled
arrest in a vehicle driven by another government witness, the
Assistant Director of Parks. In a separate development, the
government announced the closure of the Bushmen's reserve to
visitors for 'administrative reasons'.
As special advisor to the President, Pilane may be hoping that his
power surpasses that of the Botswana judiciary. He repeatedly
refused to stand up when the judges were speaking to him. He was
warned twice that unless he did so he would be cited for contempt.
He still refused to stand up, leaving the court little alternative
than to commit him to prison.
The court ordered he should be arrested immediately and brought
back to court on Monday morning. This was the climax of Pilane's
examination of the state's star 'expert witness', American
ecologist and former employee of the Botswana government, Kathleen
Alexander. Pilane was questioning her on material that the judges
had already ruled should not be discussed. (A minute-by-minute
account of this morning's events in court is appended below.)
Alexander had already made no secret of her contempt for tribal
peoples and hunter-gatherers. She wants them all out of any
protected areas in order to favour the animal inhabitants. Echoing
remarks made by the president, she said that they had to evolve,
claiming that 'culture' had nothing to do with ancestral land and
they could practise it anywhere.
Amongst her asides was her comparison of inbreeding amongst
animals 'to what happened to the ruling elite in England. The
Queen's people would stay together and not mix.' Although she
claims to want everyone out of all protected areas, she herself
lectures to American tourists - inside game reserves - who each
pay US$10,000, plus tips, for their trip.
Reacting to the fact that one of the Bushman's lawyers is British
and that their case is funded by donations raised internationally,
Pilane last week said, 'We do not want Europe to interfere and
tell us what to do or not to do. We resent their involvement in
our affairs. They should leave us alone.' The Bushman case is
already the longest and most costly in Botswana's history, despite
being brought by the country's poorest inhabitants.
A severe crackdown on the Bushmen was revealed by Survival last
week. One of those recently tortured for hunting has died, others
have been arrested, their own organisation has been barred from
their reserve, and so have their lawyers. Guards have been posted
around the reserve to stop Bushmen returning home. The government
has even changed the country's constitution, removing what Bushman
protection it enshrined.
Today, the government reinforced its determination to remove the
Bushmen and end their way of life by announcing that no visitors
would be allowed into their reserve, 'for administrative reasons',
until further notice. Bushmen who have defied the government and
returned to their lands after being thrown out in 2002 have been
barred from using radio transmitters to talk to the outside world.
From now on, whatever happens to the Bushmen in the Reserve will
take place behind closed doors.
The government is clearly angered by the international media which
has reported extensively on its attacks on the Bushmen. The latest
journalists to go in were from the BBC TV's most prestigious news
In response to the latest developments, Survival today called for
a total boycott of Botswana tourism and of its diamonds, mined and
sold by the government and De Beers.
Stephen Corry, Survival's director, said today, 'History is now
being written. The destruction of so many American Indians and
Australian Aborigines are some of the most shameful chapters in
the history of recent centuries. If the Botswana government is not
brought to its senses very quickly now, our own century will see
the calculated and deliberate destruction of the central Kalahari
Bushmen. Unfortunately none of the signs are good. The government
is already on trial in its own country. Its own lawyer has fled
arrest. If the court buckles, then this trial spells more than the
end of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen. The 'higher court' of world
opinion is perhaps the only hope left.'
Photos and footage available. For more information contact Miriam
Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email email@example.com
To read this press release online click visit
Background to the ordered
arrest of the government's attorney on 1 September 2005
1. In July 2005, Dr Alexander and a number of government officials
entered the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to conduct an inspection.
2. The Bushmen's lawyers were given no notice of the visit and no
opportunity to advise their clients whether they should cooperate
with Dr Alexander and the officials.
3. They objected to the introduction of any evidence from Dr
Alexander about what she had seen or done during the inspection.
On Tuesday 30 August, their objection was upheld, so that Dr
Alexander was not permitted to give any evidence of what she
claimed to have seen in July.
4. By Thursday 1 September, Dr Alexander had been in the witness
box for seven days. She was still being asked questions by
Mr Pilane. Mr Pilane asked her whether she had seen diseased
animals in the reserve and Dr Alexander said that she had. The
Bushmen's Counsel asked Mr Pilane to clarify when it was that she
claimed to have seen the diseased animals, so as to establish
whether the evidence was precluded by the order which the Court
had made on Tuesday.
5. When Mr Pilane declined to do so the Court itself asked Dr
Alexander to clarify when it was that she claimed to have seen
diseased animals. She replied, 'In July'.
6. Mr Pilane requested a five-minute adjournment, which was
granted. After the adjournment, Mr Pilane did not appear in court
until after the judges had already returned and resumed their
positions on the bench.
7. There was then a discussion between the court and Mr Pilane in
the course of which Mr Pilane sat down. When he was asked to stand
up, he repeatedly declined to do so. He was offered two
opportunities to explain why he should not be cited for contempt,
and did not accept that he was in contempt. The court then ruled
that he was in contempt, and that he should immediately be
arrested and taken to prison. It directed that he should be
brought back before the court at 9.30 on Monday morning, when the
attorney general should also appear. After the court rose several
police officers attended court to arrest Mr Pilane. He declined to
accompany them and was driven from the court in a government
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