Government witness says 'I don't remember' 36 times

May 4, 2006

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During cross-examination by the lawyer for the Bushmen, the main government official in charge of the 2002 relocation of hundreds of Bushmen claimed he could remember almost nothing about the exercise.

Questioned closely about what happened during the relocations, Mr Nono Macheke, former District Commissioner for Ghanzi (the town nearest the CKGR) said 'I don't remember' no less than 36 times during the course of one day.

Mr Macheke maintained that no Bushmen were forced or persuaded to move from their ancestral lands, but that all those relocated had volunteered. He was unable, however, to provide any detail about the relocations, which lasted about ten days, claiming he did not remember.

Mr Macheke maintained that during all the time he spent in the reserve he did not have any conversations at all with any Bushmen, and none had protested about being forced to move from their land.

Earlier in the trial, many Bushman witnesses had testified that they did not want to be moved, but were forced to leave by the government relocation teams coordinated by Mr Macheke.