McCall Smith breaks silence on Bushmen

April 2, 2008

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Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, has spoken out for the first time in support of the Kalahari Bushmen of Botswana, referring to the issue of their eviction as ‘a blot on the country’s history’.

McCall Smith said in an interview with London’s Evening Standard, ‘The issue of the San [Bushmen] people and their access to the Central Kalahari Reserve is a sad and distressing one, and the Botswana courts have ruled against their own government in this matter.

‘Everybody I know hopes that this blot on the country’s history will be resolved in a way which respects the rights and feelings of the San; I do hope the government of Botswana bears this in mind, and I am sure they will.’

Protesters gathered outside the premiere of the film of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in London last month, to draw attention to the plight of the Bushmen. The film, by the late Anthony Minghella and Richard Curtis, is being heavily promoted by the Botswana Tourism Board, whose chief executive has said that it will ‘provide a platform to promote Botswana diamonds… and restore the image tarnished by the CKGR [Central Kalahari Game Reserve] issue’.

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