Bushmen to conclude evidence

January 14, 2005

This page was created in 2005 and may contain language which is now outdated.

The historic court case being brought by 220 Gana and Gwi Bushmen
against the Botswana government resumes on 17 January, with evidence
from the last of seven Bushman witnesses.

Matsipane Mosetlhanyane from the community of Gugamma in the Central
Kalahari Game Reserve takes the witness box on Monday. Before the
court adjourned in November, witness Mongwegi Thobogelo told the
court that she would never apply for a permit to enter the Reserve as
it was the place of her birth. 'It was declared a reserve while we
already stayed there,'
she said. Bushmen returning to their land have
been harassed by government officials, and arrested for entering the
reserve without a permit.

In what could prove to be a test case for Bushman rights across
southern Africa, 220 Bushmen are taking the Botswana government
to court over their forced eviction 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.

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