Published: Thursday 15 September 2005

Bushmen South Africa

A new play opened in South Africa recently, portraying the ongoing story of the eviction of Bushmen from their traditional lands. Gana and Gwi Basarwa Bushmen were forcibly moved from Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 2002 and have been waging an increasingly cohesive battle ever since in the country's courts -- as well as through international public perception.

South African youth leader Elijah Molahlehi was motivated to write Survival in the Wilderness after spending several days last year in the eviction camp of New Xade. There, he found proof of the abysmal conditions in which Bushmen live. "Everyone here is saying we want to go back home. There is no way survive here". There have also been reports of many Bushmen being tortured in the reserve. "The government is claiming development, but the reality is, the government is oppressing the Basarwa [Bushmen] people, starting with their lies about development.... The Basarwa people didn't use money because they didn't need it. And now in New Xade, they need it but they don't have it".

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