Government witness unable to substantiate claims

February 9, 2006

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As the Gana and Gwi Bushmen's case against the Botswana government restarted yesterday, government witness Kathleen Alexander was unable to support her claim that the Bushmen's livestock were causing diseases in wild animals.

Under cross-examination by the Bushmen's lawyer, Alexander was also unable to identify any plants or animals that the Bushmen had eliminated from the reserve.

When asked for the scientific basis for her contention that the Bushmen's small number of livestock were causing diseases in wild animals, she replied, ‘Women give birth. We know women give birth and men don't. We know disease is transmitted. We take it to be a risk factor, and it is a universal just like gravity or breathing oxygen. That is why we say keep domestic dogs away from wildlife.'

The Bushmen are taking the government to court for the right to live on their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The case continues.