BBC's Newsnight investigates the Bushmen's expulsion

July 25, 2005

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The BBC's flagship news programme Newsnight has broadcast an in-depth investigation into the Botswana government's expulsion of the Bushmen from their ancestral land. (Click here to view)

Interviewed by the BBC, President Mogae says, 'We will not allow them [the Bushmen] to hunt in the Park' [Central Kalahari Game Reserve], directly contradicting previous statements that the Bushmen could hunt in the Reserve as long as they used 'traditional weapons'.

'Let them call us primitive. Let them call us Stone Age people. Our way of life suits us. We have seen their development, and we don't like it,' said Daleathwe Phetadipuo, a Bushman woman.

'They just came and grabbed people and pulled down the huts. They said my children had to go to school in the new settlements. My children were shouting and screaming as they took them away. I begged the government to let my children come back and live with me,' said another woman, Gakeorore Moeti.

'We've been beaten, tortured and taken to court for hunting eland. Why? Why can't we hunt in our own land like we have for thousands of years?' said one Bushman man. Another, Chika Moeti, now living in a relocation camp, added, 'Really I want to go to my mother's village, my homeland, because actually all these bars, and all these 'facilities', I think they are nothing in my life. What I value is my dignity; my land is my dignity.'

The report can be viewed for 24 hours here.