Days of Basarwa in CKGR numbered

Home: Metsiamaong in the CKGR PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Home: Metsiamaong in the CKGR PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

Basarwa will soon find out that their 2006 victory against government was in vain because government had conveniently erased them from the Constitution hardly a week before the judges unknowingly declared that Bushmen have freedom of movement rights inside the CKGR. Staff Writer, THALEFANG CHARLES reports

In 2006 the High Court ordered that the refusal by government to allow Basarwa to enter the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) unless they are issued with a permit was both unlawful and unconstitutional. This was a majority judgment in the Roy Sesana and Others versus the Attorney General case before then Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo, Justice Unity Dow and Justice Mpaphi Phumaphi.

It was a landmark ruling that was celebrated by Basarwa as a great victory in their struggle for freedom of movement at their birthplaces inside the CKGR. But in the ruling, the judges were not aware that hardly a week before they delivered their judgement, the Constitution was conveniently amended to repeal a key clause that supported the primary argument in the case. In the amendment, Parliament scrapped off Section 14.3.C that was used to protect Basarwa’s freedom in the CKGR. The reason for amendment was said to make the clause ‘tribally neutral’.

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