Bushmen in Botswana face eviction

By agency reporter
1 Jul 2011

Nharo Bushmen in south-west Botswana will be forcefully evicted from their land today (1 July 2011), according to national newspaper The Voice.

Survival International, the NGO working for the rights of tribal people, reports that the Bushmen have vowed to resist eviction from their homes in Xanagas, Kgalagadi District.

One local resident, Xase Tuxwa, was born in Xanagas in 1937. He told reporters, "We were born and raised in Xanagas, but farmers come and erect fences around our homesteads, and then we are ordered to move out."

Fears were sparked after Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale, bought land on a neighbouring farm; the eviction notice followed shortly after.

Molale is listed as director of Debswana diamond company, a joint venture between the Botswana government and De Beers, and the largest diamond producer in the world.

In 2002, Kalahari Bushmen were violently forced off their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. At the same time, Molale was serving as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Local Government.

Pelaelo Lucas, a resident at Xanagas, said, "Ever since the arrival of this Molale gentleman… on the Xanagas farming scene, our lives have been hell.

"Our children are forced to board at the primary school on the land, and we are expected to leave them in the care of government officials at the farm when we get evicted."

Survival says that Eric Molale has refused to comment.

[Ekk/4]

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