Government witness contradicts himself

May 24, 2005

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In re-examination yesterday, the Assistant Director of Wildlife, Jan Broekhuis, claimed he had 'no reason to believe' that figures in a graph he had drawn were unreliable. Last week in cross examination he stated that the figures, which show the number of animals living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, were indeed unreliable.

The matter is important because the government has implied that wildlife numbers in the reserve had been decreasing before the 2002 relocations due to the presence of Bushmen living there. But studies by independent experts show wildlife numbers in the reserve had doubled in the ten years before the relocations. Some figures in the graph drawn by Jan Broekhuis show a more than one hundred percent disparity from figures produced by the Wildlife Department before the relocations.

Much of the time in court yesterday was taken up with the government lawyer asking the witness to read passages from documents already before the court, and to read out lists of numbers of various species of wildlife.

The re-examination continues today.