Telegraph – ‘Botswana betrays the outcast Bushmen’

April 19, 2007

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The UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper yesterday published a damning report accusing the Botswana government of betraying the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari.

The report quotes Bushman woman Gaorongwe Tshotlego in Kaudwane resettlement camp: ‘I have not seen my mother for five years. When I heard of the court case [victory], I was so happy that now I could go home. But I am afraid… I am worried I will be killed for returning.’

Her fears are despite a Botswana High Court ruling in December that the Bushmen had a legal right to live on their land, and that their eviction by the government was ‘unlawful and unconstitutional’. It also ruled that the government had acted illegally in depriving the Bushmen of their licences to hunt in the Central Kalahari – yet persecution of Bushman hunters continues.

The Telegraph cites ‘armed patrols by wildlife rangers – who are renowned as brutal when dealing with anyone suspected of hunting’ as one reason for Mrs Tshotlego’s fears.

Telegraph journalist Mike Pflanz also cites diamond exploration on their land as a common concern among the Bushmen, and reports on ‘fresh exploration being carried out’ near Mrs Tshotlego’s home in the Central Kalahari community of Gugamma.

The major German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published an in-depth article last month criticising the Botswana government’s eviction of the Bushmen.

Read the Daily Telegraph article

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