Kalahari ecologist: Bushmen live better in reserve

May 5, 2005

This page was created in 2005 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Kalahari ecologist Arthur Albertson told Botswana's high court this week that the Gana and Gwi Bushmen's lives were better in the Central Kalahari where they could hunt and gather than in the government eviction camps. Albertson said the Bushmen have little impact on wildlife levels in the Kalahari, and that wildlife in the area was increasing.

The Bushmen's historic court case against the Botswana government recommenced this week, with the court due to sit until 16 June. They are fighting for their right to return to their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and to hunt and gather freely.

The case began in July 2004, but has faced severe delays. Nine witnesses have given evidence so far, and it took twenty days for the court to hear Albertson's evidence alone. This week government lawyer Sidney Pilane announced that he planned to call thirty witnesses to the box. Pilane seemed set to delay proceedings even further by objecting to every question posed by the Bushmen's lawyer.

The controversy surrounding the case recently took a new twist – the government is pushing a bill though parliament to remove Bushman protection from the Constitution. The clause to be scrapped forms the central plank of the Bushmen's case.

Survival will publish regular updates on the case on its all-new website: https://www.survival-international.org

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