Bushman case adjourned until 4 September

August 29, 2006

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The Gana and Gwi Bushmen's landmark court case against the Botswana government has been adjourned until 4 September. The lawyers were due to present their final arguments to the court this week.

The Bushmen's lawyer Gordon Bennett applied for an adjournment after state attorneys sent him their written arguments twelve days after the date ordered by the court.

‘We were due to start the final oral arguments today [Monday], but I did not receive the defence's written submissions by August 11, as had been agreed,' Mr Bennett told Agence France-Presse.

‘I only got them last Wednesday and therefore did not have adequate time to file our written submissions.'

The last of the evidence in the case was heard in May. A judgement should be made soon after the final arguments have been presented to the court.

The Bushmen are fighting for their right to return to their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and to hunt and gather freely. At least 10% of the original 243 applicants have died in government resettlement camps since the case was filed. 135 more Bushmen have asked to be added to the original list of 243 applicants this year.

To read a summary of issues prepared by the Bushmen's legal team, click here

The court will be open to journalists and members of the public.

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