Dying father used to evict sons

January 20, 2005

This page was created in 2005 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Botswana's high court has heard how government officials evicted a
dying man from his home in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and
then returned to tell his sons that they would not see their father
unless they agreed to be relocated.

Mogetse Kaboikanyo died just four months after he was evicted. His
widow told Survival in the eviction site New Xade, 'This land killed
my husband.'

The sick Mogetse Kaboikanyo from the community of Kikao was taken
to New Xade in February 2002. His sons stayed behind. His son Losolobe
Mogetse told the court how he had argued with an official who came to
evict him, but had eventually left Kikao out of concern for his father:
'He said we could not go to see the old man unless we agreed
to relocate. We said we could not relocate in his absence. I finally
gave up and agreed and we went with him.'

After years of struggling to remain on his land, Mogetse was buried
in New Xade, far from the graves of his ancestors, because officials
refused to allow Losolobe and his brothers to return his body to
Kikao. He had repeatedly said he wished to die on his land. Before
the evictions, Mogetse told Survival, 'These things are done to us
because we are Bushman people. The government of Botswana calls
itself a democracy. But it isn't so here. We are oppressed until we
die, and soon there will be no one left.'

To read Mogetse's full testimony click here

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