Survival International reported on Monday that the Botswana police have arrested 21 G/wi and G//ana people because they were caught hunting on their traditional lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Last December, in an internationally watched case, the High Court of the country decided that these San people did have the right to return to their ancestral homes in the CKGR. The government did not have the right to force them to continue to live in squalid resettlement camps.
But the government has evidently not given up its oppression of the indigenous minority people. SI indicated that the men, arrested during June and July, were expected to appear in court. The government insists that, even if the San people have the right to live in the CKGR, they do not have the right to hunt there, to use the water from a borehole, or to raise goats. It’s not clear what the government expects them to live on—or even if it wants them to live at all. It clearly is resisting the decision of the country’s supreme court.
Since the court ruling in favor of the San, over 100 people out of the 700 expelled from the CKGR have returned home, but many others are afraid to do so. SI condemned the arrests and continued government hassles of the San, and it added cynically, “we can only hope that this time they won’t be beaten and tortured as they have in the past.”