Merafhe admits 'We put these people... where we want them to be'

October 21, 2003

This page was created in 2003 and may contain language which is now outdated.

In an astonishing slip, Botswana's Foreign Minister last week admitted that his government had relocated the Bushmen to 'where we want them to be.'

Questioned by students after a talk at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Gen Mompati Merafhe at first denied that the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve had been forced off their land, but then admitted 'We put these people… where we want them to be.'

The Minister faced hostile questioning by several students over his government's forced eviction of the Bushmen. In response, Gen Merafhe claimed his government's aspiration for the Bushmen was for them to 'enjoy the better things in life, like driving Cadillacs… Why must they continue to commune with the flora and fauna?' The shocked students have passed the General's comments to Survival.

Stephen Corry, Director of Survival, said today, 'The Minister has finally admitted what everybody else has known for months – that the Bushmen have been evicted from their ancestral land against their will.'

More information: Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or [email protected]
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