News Thursday 2 August 2018
An aquaintance took me to Xwaa on 7 May. Xwaa lives just outside Ghanzi on the side of the main road to the north on a plot where a few Bushmen families have made huts from corrugated sheets, with his mother, stepfather and two little brothers, maybe more people. Two sides of the hut are open. Xwaa sleeps between a couple of dirty blankets on the ground outside the hut. Five mornings a week he and his two little brothers attend the Window for Hope centre, wich has been set up by a priest and his wife. The children are provided with two meals a day, get attention and are prepared to attend school (again). The owner of the plot, the building and a nearly finished toilet block (two toilets and a shower cabin for the boys, and the same for the girls) lets the Centre use it free of charge. When the block is finished, the children will have a shower after arrival in the morning, put on clean clothes and their own dirty ones will be laundered. When they leave for home, they put on their own clothes. I have given money to buy new clothes for Xwaa and bought food for Xwaa and his family. After returning to The Netherlands I sent some money for toiletries. It is a relieve to know that they are taken care of, as in the home situaties food and care are still not sufficient.
Leaked documents have confirmed the United States Government’s fears that the Botswana Government deliberately placed British lawyer Gordon Bennett on a visa list with the sole aim of disabling Basarwa of Central Kalahari game Reserve (CKGR) in their fresh legal tussle with government. (British citizens do not need a visum to enter Botswana.) sundaystandard.info
I have called the social worker in Ghanzi. She was pleased that she could tell me that Xwaa had been found and is still collecting his monthly food basket from the social service department. From January next he has been enrolled in a school class for disabled children. I told the social worker that we have turned full circle and are back at square one. Xwaa had attended school before but was sent away because the teachers could not cope with his attacks. And what about the home situation, I asked. Who is checking that he gets proper food and his medicine in time. (My suspicion is that his epileptic attacks are a result of malnutrition.) The social worker explained that parents or caretakers are responsible for that, since Botswana has got a Childrens Protection Act. If parents neglect their children they can be taken to court, and if necessary put into jail. But they prefer talking to them though this can be difficult. When social workers visit them at 7.30 am, they might be at their drinking place. Even if they manage to talk to them, they usually do not accept advice. Another problem is that there are thousands of children like Xwaa and courtrooms and jails would overflow if the law was implemented.
At the end of 2016 I received the message that Xwaa's uncle had left the farm with unknown destination, taking his family with him. On 14 August 2017 I had a meeting with a social worker in Ghanzi. The social worker who was working on Xwaa's case in 2016 had been transferred. An attempt would be made to get in touch with her to ask how far she got with Xwaa's case. I would be called about the result. As there had been no message by 30 August, I went to see the Ombudsman in Gaborone and told him the story about Xwaa. He agreed that the boy should be located and taken to an institution where he could be observed and treated. But he could not do anything, I had to go to the department of Local Governemnt. There I told the story again, they could not do anything either and adviced me to go to another ministery. Luckily this secretary was kind enough to ask for advice by telephone. She was told I also could go to the social work departnement in Molepolole, the town where I taught. The next day I had to tell the story twice. The social worker was going to contact the social worker in Ghanzi, who would call me. This she did. I was asked who had been involved in the case so she could call them. Out of this came that he had been, probably with his aunt and uncle, to collect his monthly foodbasket. All they had to do was to wait for the collection of the next basket, so they could send him to a clinic for observation. They would inform me if this had happened. At this moment, 13 November, no message has come yet.
President Ian Khama, former president Festus Mogae, opposition Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) member Sidney Pilane (previously member BDP, ruling party) and a number of Cabinet ministers were complicit in an elaborate secret psychological warfare and scorched earth policy to force Basarwa out of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) – confidential official documents and memos passed to the Sunday Standard have for the first time revealed thegovernment’s documented systematic plan to use starvation as a weapon to force Basarwa out of the CKGR. The documents reveal that the government at some stage considered physically forcing Basarwa out of the reserve, but was worried that this would attract international controversy. Pilane, then Special Advisor to Mogae came up with a military-style scorched earth tactic to starve the Basarwa out of the CKGR. Pilane wrote in one of the secret memos: “As previously advised, the physical removal of those people from the Reserve would attract too much controversy, quite apart from the incidents that might result from the forcible and physical removal of such great numbers of people and animals.” Pilane proposed making sure that CKGR residents did not cultivate crops, keep domestic stock, hunt for wild animals and collect wild plants inside the reserve." Read more: sundaystandard.info/plans-starve-basarwa-out-ckgr-open
One may wonder why these documents only now have been passed on. And if earlier it was considered that physical removement would attract too much international attention, why they had not realized that these documents would come into the open one day and therefore did not destroy them.
About this site Supporting the Bushmen so they can stay in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and live there as they wish and as long as they wish. The CKGR was created for them.
Reason for establishing CKGR.
Reason for establishing CKGRQuotation from the book by George B. Silberbauer. (anthropologist and sociologist):
“In response to recommendations I made to the Bechuanaland Protectorate government on April 28, 1960, some 52.000 km2 of Ghanzi district east of the latitude of Great Tsau Hill (Sonop Koppies) was proclaimed a game reserve in 1961. This step was taken to protect the Bushman inhabitants in the area; in the late fifties illegal hunting by non- Bushmen from outside the area posed a serious threat to the hunters and gatherers who depended on the game herds for part of their livelihood. Hunting by Bushmen was not restricted in any way, but entry by non- Bushmen was controlled and the danger from poachers diminished.”
Nampol Vocational Training Center 2017
Nampol Vocational Training Center 2016