Botswana govt proceeding with San relocation

Officials in Ranyane 'persuading' people to leave

Richard Lee's picture

Author

Strategic communications for WWF

June 5th, 2013

Despite a court order halting the relocation of a San community from Ranyane, the Botswana government seems intent on proceeding with its to move San families from land that they have lived on for decades.

According to the latest reports from Ranyane, government officials have arrived at the settlement with trucks and are trying to ‘persuade’ people to leave.

“The San residents of Ranyane had hoped that court order would deter the government from relocating them and violating their rights once again but this is clearly not the case,” said Keikabile Mogodu, Director of the Khwedom Council, which advocates on behalf of the San in Botswana.

“By continuing with its plans to forcibly relocate this community, the Botswana government is acting in clear violation of a court order and demonstrating its contempt for the rule of law,” he added.

As part of their ‘persuasion’, the government officials told the chief of Ranyane that he would be dethroned if he – and his people – did not relocate. The chief flatly refused.

“We thought this was a democratic society and we believed that the San had the same rights as everyone else in Botswana – clearly we were wrong,” said Mogodu.

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