South Africa's Indigenous people condemn Bushman evictions

January 18, 2004

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Two organisations representing some of South Africa's Indigenous peoples have spoken out in support of the rights of the Gana and Gwi ‘Bushmen' of Botswana to return to their land.

The Northern Cape Khoisan Council said today, ’We support the campaign against De Beers and the Botswana Government, to persuade the government to rescind their decision to evict the Gwi, Gana and Bakgalagadi from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve….. You also have the support of about thirteen Khoisan organisations in the whole of South Africa to protest against this blatant human rights atrocity.'

The Northern Cape Khoisan Council is an alliance of first people organisations in the Northern Cape consisting of the San, Nama, Korana, Griqua and Cape Khoi groups.

Motivation Community Development, another Indigenous organisation, added, ’Like our peoples, KhoiSan, Tswana, Sotho and other African peoples of South Africa, we were dispossessed from our lands by colonial forces. This dispossession resulted in the conditions we live in today, so much poverty, depression, unemployment, addictions, crime and violence and being unproductive…… Removal of the Gana, Gwi and Bakgalagadi Peoples from their land will do the same to them as land dispossession did to us…. It makes no difference who does the dispossessing.'

Indigenous peoples worldwide have expressed their solidarity with the Gana and Gwi since they were evicted from their ancestral land in 2002. Representatives of the Innu in Canada, the Ogiek in Kenya, the Yanomami in Brazil and the Aborigines in Australia have strongly condemned the evictions.

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

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