Bushmen's historic court case to recommence in November

October 25, 2004

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The historic court case brought by the Gana and Gwi Bushmen against the Botswana government is due to recommence on 3 November in Lobatse, the seat of Botswana's high court.

In what could prove to be a test case for Bushman rights across southern Africa, 243 Bushmen are taking the Botswana government to court over its forced eviction of them and their families from their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The Bushmen want the government to recognise their rights to return to their land and live there without fear of further eviction, and to hunt and gather freely.

The case was adjourned in July after being heard for several weeks in New Xade, one of the bleak eviction sites in which the Bushmen have been forced to live, and in the town of Ghanzi.

One Bushman told Survival, 'The government has not done anything which proves it owns the land. We know every tree and water hole and corner of this land – everything has a name. We know this land as you know your children. We say, "This is my son and these are my grandchildren." That is how we know this place. The old people remain behind and we send our young people to court to fight for our right to live in the world.'


Photos and footage available.

For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]