Categories Africa, Blog, Botswana

The San community from Ranyane (Botswana) wins a court case

First published on 01/05/2014, and last updated on 03/05/2018

By: Lesle Jansen, ICCA Consortium Regional Coordinator for East & South Africa

Some 600 Botswana San peoples were threatened with eviction during May 2013. This indigenous community is from an area called Ranyane, located in the Ghanzi district close to its border with the northern Kgalagadi District, Botswana. They reportedly live in an area proposed as a ‘wildlife corridor’. This intended wildlife corridor is proposed between the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park. It was promoted by the US organization Conservation International (CI), of which Botswana’s President Khama is a board member.

The ICCA Consortium’s Regional Coordinator for East & South Africa received reports that the local and national authorities pressurized this San community to leave. She monitored this matter closely and supported the Khwedom council (local San community based organization advocating for San peoples’ rights) during this period. The San community was successfully able to obtain a permanent court order preventing their eviction through legal representation. A settlement agreement was reached between the San community and the Botswana government. On 18 June 2013, this agreement was then made a court order.

An excerpt to the Botswana court order states as follows:

“The authorities will not permit their officers to enter any household compound occupied by the Ranyane San without their express consent – as opposed to the door-to-door campaigns that officials were waging to ‘encourage’ people to relocate;

The authorities will not remove the engine that currently operates the borehole at Ranyane without 14 days prior written notice to the community’s attorneys; and

No one shall be removed from Ranyane less than 48 hours after the authorities have informed the community’s lawyers by telephone of their proposed removal.”

(Excerpt taken from Ditswanelo’s statement to the Ranyane relocation).