Bushmen's court case restarts today

August 8, 2005

This page was created in 2005 and may contain language which is now outdated.

The Gana and Gwi Bushmen's court case against the Botswana government restarts on Monday 8 August after a seven-week adjournment. The case is being fought over the Bushmen's right to live on their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and to hunt and gather freely.

Before the case was adjourned in June, a government witness admitted that there was no evidence that Bushmen living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve had been hunting using guns and vehicles, or hunting too many animals. Another government witness admitted that a proposal to provide water to the Bushmen in the reserve at zero cost to the government had been ignored. The government has repeatedly claimed that it evicted the Bushmen because they had been ’overhunting' using guns and vehicles, and that providing water to them was ’too expensive'.

The case is being heard at Botswana's High Court in Lobatse. The Bushmen first filed the case in April 2002, following the evictions in February that year, but it was thrown out on a technicality. The Bushmen appealed and won the right to have the case heard, and it began in July 2004. The case has since faced long delays.

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