Evictions linked to diamond concessions

There was a dramatic increase in the number of diamond concessions granted on the Bushmen's land in the year that they were evicted, Botswana's high court heard this week. At the same time, the number of licences issued elsewhere in the country actually fell.

The permanent secretary in the mining ministry, Dr Akolang Tombale, claimed that it came as a complete surprise to the government that there was a sudden surge in the number of licences issued on Bushman land.

The number of diamond exploration licences more than trebled from 18 in 2000 to 62 in 2002, the year the last 700 Gana and Gwi Bushmen were expelled from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.