It would seem to be an appropriate venue. Unlike many other parts of the continent, or indeed the Third World, Southern Africa has long been a leader in environmental innovation. There have been many success stories.
Transcript This is a rush transcript.
Copy may not be in its final form. While supporters of the San Bushmen picketed across the street, luminaries like actress Lindsay Lohan were feted by the diamond giant. Marilyn Monroe is my favorite, and she supported diamonds forever. Also in the studio, Gloria Steinem, feminist pioneer. She traveled to Botswana, joined the picket line last night here in New York.
We are also joined by Dr. Can you describe your concerns right now with De Beers and the Botswana government? Our concern with De Beers and with the diamonds in this country it was that, you know, in the early '80s there was a conversion which was made in the Ncoakhoe and the CKGR.
And, by the way, a total of about 90 Bushmen staying then, and we were then — they were then kicked out in by the government for relocation. And they are making as an argument that now it's not because of diamonds. And how did the government deal with your people when it decided to move you out?
And the eviction itself started in and Why did you get involved? Well, Survival has been working with the bushmen for a long time, and the bushmen live across southern Africa, and for hundreds of years, they have been facing slow genocide. The Gana and Gwi Bushmen of Botswana are among the last Bushmen anywhere to be living self-sufficiently by hunting and gathering on their own ancestral land, or at least they were until several years ago when the Botswana government kicked them out.
De beers shamelessly prospecting for diamonds has found diamonds on their land, and the Bushmen have been evicted. Their way of life is being totally destroyed. So Survival is asking De Beers to allow the — to pressurize the Botswana government into letting the Bushmen go home. We talk about the opening of De Beers in the United States and the protests that took place outside the New York opening that was organized by Survival International.
Welcome to Democracy Now! Could you give us your response to some of the allegations that we have heard here from both the Bushmen and the representatives of Survival International? As for the issues, the issues that you have raised, as Jumanda noted, I mean, this relocation process began sometime ago in the s.
It was in fact based on a policy paper that was developed inand the relocations that took place inwhich were when the main relocations actually occurred, and then later in were effectively based on the gov — which were the result of the government, which was determined to go through with implementing this particular policy.
Certainly, De Beers were not subject or involved in making this decision in any — any more than it would be acceptable for a foreign company or foreign company to be involved in making social policy in the United States.
I think what needs to be done is that this issue needs to be put in its broader context. Could you tell us what did motivate the relocations then? The Botswana government had a very — and this is — this partially ties in with diamonds. Botswana was inwhen it achieved its independence, it was one of the least developed countries in, I believe it was the fourth — the fourth most underdeveloped country, according to the United Nations.
The relocation policy in the central Kalahari is really an extension of this. It is an approach to development. And it was intended, I believe, to be enacted in the best interests of the Bushmen; however, I must add I do think the relocations have been appallingly handled, and that I do not think that these were in the best interests of the Bushmen at all.
Just to clarify, Professor Suzman, now, you are paid by De Beers as a consultant? Jumanda Gakelebone, your response to Professor Suzman. But to tell the truth, it is the diamonds.
He is right, there is nothing [inaudible] in some part of the CKGR, where De Beers still holds the actuary — I mean, it holds in the license the [inaudible] they have and to do whatever they want. And they renew it each and every year, which shows us as Bushmen that there is something under the ground there, which De Beers is interested in.
We know, we hear what we are told and we can understand. We were told, and we did understand what was said and see what has happened. Can I just point out in addition to what Jumanda said, that government ministers openly admitted before the international campaign on this issue that the Bushmen were going to be moved or being moved to make way for diamonds.
You know, before they were moved, they were living self-sufficiently. When I visited them, people said to me again and again, when we lived in the reserve, we knew exactly what we had to do when we got up in the morning.
We knew where to find food. They lived close to the graves of their ancestors, which are very important to them.Botswana President shamed by Bushman protest at election rally October 3, The Bushmen protested at an election rally of President Ian Khama, demanding the right to hunt to feed their families be upheld (archive image).
A PROTEST FROM A BUSHMAN POEM THEME: SADNESS The theme of the poet A Protest From a Bushman is SADNESS. The poet is expressing disapproval or objection to something, thus how his fellowman treats them and .
Bushman woman Qoroxloo died of dehydration and starvation in the reserve in Her relatives were arrested trying to take food and water to her. Gakemeitswe (not her real name) died of AIDS in a relocation camp in after being evicted from the reserve, and Dibe died 'of a broken heart' soon after being evicted against her will.
To protest the creation of a game park in Eastern Bushmanland, send a letter to the Office of the Administrator General, Government House, Windhoek, Namibia, Southwest Africa, To protest the recruitment of the Bushman people into the South African army, write a letter to any South Africa embassy.
Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc. Music was a strong method of protest amongst South African’s during the apartheid. The music that was created during the apartheid has helped shape the country to this day.
The music is still alive in the country and is used to honor the past and the future. Press Release - Botswana's President Ian Khama was met with protests during an election rally at a Bushman eviction camp last Saturday, over government attempts to starve the Bushmen off their.