Bushman torture victims speak out

July 1, 2005

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Seven Bushmen have been tortured last month by wildlife officials in Kaudwane, an eviction site close to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

The victims, aged 26-57, are Tsuo Tshiamo, Meno Tshiamo, Helelo Tshiamo, Kganne Kgadikgadi, Sabokana Morwalela, Letshwao Nagayame and Moarama Nagayame.

Letshwao Nagayame, 57, was handcuffed and tied upside down to a post. Officials stepped on his fingers, kicked him, repeatedly punched him in the groin and violently pulled his genitals. He was unable to urinate for some days and can only walk with difficulty.

Torture victim: Letshwao Nagayame

He said: 'They beat us up badly. I think they wanted to kill us. I am an old man but they didn't consider this when they handcuffed me, suspended me on a rope tied to some poles with my head dangling, my legs hanging in the air and my knuckles on the cement floor.

'The officials pulled my testicles and penis, beat me up, and kicked me, while one man smashed my knuckles on the hard floor.'

Kganne Kgadikgadi said: 'We were made to run in front of a vehicle, and when the beating and kicking got unbearable, I took our assailants to a spot where I had hidden some dried biltong [meat] in a small plastic bag.

Torture victim: Kganne Kgadikgadi

'I was forced to say I had hunted with the others, and now we have to appear in court on July 27 to answer poaching charges.'

Read our latest press release on the torture incidents
Read The Voice frontpage news on the incidents
Write a protest lettter to the president of Botswana, Festus Mogae