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ACTIVIST: Roy Sesana

Court rules against Basarwa’s right to access to water
The long wait for access to a water borehole ended on a depressing note for Basarwa of Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) after a Lobatse High court dismissed their application.
Justice Lakvinder Singh Walia on Wednesday ruled that the applicants were not entitled to access the borehole at Mothomelo or to drill a new one inside the CKGR.
The ruling follows an eight-year long wait by the Basarwa after the government closed and capped the borehole in 2002. In 2006 the High Court declared illegal and unconstitutional, government’s decision to evict Basarwa from the CKGR. The government have since maintained their stand that should the Basarwa who returned to the CKGR suffer acutely from shortage of water they have only themselves to blame as they have chosen to stay in a place where there is no water.
Ever since the 2006 court ruling Basarwa have been looking to the outcome of this week’s ruling for permission to draw water from the borehole in the reserve.
When passing judgement on Wednesday Justice Walia pointed to Sections 6 and 9 of the Water Act that he said were riddled with inconsistencies that failed the applicants’ efforts.  While lawyers representing Basarwa had relied on Section 6 for authority to abstract water without approval, Justice Walia said Section 9 prohibits abstraction without a water right granted under the Act.
“If Section 6 of the Act is construed as contended by the applicants, Section 9 becomes entirely superfluous. On a proper construction of Section 6, the applicants face an immediate difficulty they have not even attempted to overcome.  Section 6, even on the interpretation contended for by the applicants does not permit the abstraction of unlimited quantities of water from an unlimited number of boreholes at unidentified locations,” he said.
While Section 6 states that water may be abstracted for domestic use only, depending on the area that the borehole is situated, Justice Walia said there was no prescription regarding the quantities required. He said the applicants did not specify, in the event their application succeeded, the quantity they would extract.   “I am therefore being asked to declare that the applicants have the right to abstract water at will, in unlimited quantities from an unspecified number of boreholes. I am clearly prevented by Section 6 (1) (a) of the water Act from doing so. I find therefore that the applicants do not have the right even in their own interpretation of Section 6, to abstract water in excess of the quantities, if any, prescribed in respect of the various areas of the CKGR,” he said.
Justice Walia, however, said although the papers presented in court did not reveal any express refusal on the part of the Government, to allow Basarwa their right to extract water in the CKGR, he considered the Government’s failure to respond within a reasonable period as tacit refusal.
Walia further said in his judgement that the correct interpretation of Section 6 favoured the Government refusal, as the applicants had not been granted water rights under the Act. “The respondent’s refusals or failures referred to in the notice of motion are therefore neither unlawful nor unconstitutional,” he said.
When dismissing the case Justice Walia said the Water Act needed to be reviewed as it had too many inconsistencies. “I ask the respondent to urgently address the ambiguities and inconsistencies in the Water Act so vividly exposed in this case and take such steps as may be necessary to effect the necessary amendments.”
The application was dismissed and each party was ordered to pay its own costs.

31 COMMENTS

  1. This is not news
    Botswana has a clear land policy, and it is a country where law and order are maintained to the book. Many people have moved before to make way for developments benefiting the whole nation-roads, mines, parks, dams etc. And many more will move if they have to.Period

    For arguments sake lets say the Basarwa do move back into the reserve to ‘continue their way of life’. Their population will inevitably exceed the carrying capacity of the reserve some day-what next?another reserve? They are demanding boreholes-something ‘alien’ to their traditional ‘way of life’. Why cant they continue using what they used prior-hand dug wells,wild melons or storing water in ostrich egg shells etc.? They, like the rest of Batswana nowadays hunt with guns. That means higher kill rates especially when on horseback. The animals supporting them will either drop below the minimum viable population or seek refuge outside the reserve. Unacceptable.

    Next thing you know they would want health services, permanent residences, roads, shops etc within the reserve. And its not like they are being thrown out to die-there are adjacent settlements with water, schools, roads, communication systems, health centres etc. And they can still move back to the reserve if they so wish (minus the borehole of course).

    Botswana will not yield to any amount of international pressure, especially because all this is done, and has always been done, for the maximum benefit of the whole nation-not just individual tribes or groups.

    Survival International (SI) supported the Basarwa when they won the case against government ruling that the relocations of Basarwa from the reserve were unlawful. The Basarwa could now return to the CKGR. After the case, SI patted itself on the back, smiled and popped a few champagne bottles and their attention diverted elsewhere for another ‘struggle’. Poor Basarwa were left celebrating what?

    Our former president Mogae said it well. ‘Poverty is no ones culture’. And this is the root cause of all problems-poor health, low literacy, lack of assets, no political voice etc. The government should try to address these, like it has done for every Motswana.

    Wena Corry, sepa legolo ke la moeng…la mong gae ga le nkge. Get someone to translate that for you. Botswana is the name…google it if you like

  2. Basarwa ba makatse gotile ba fodugele ko ba tla bonang ditlhabollo teng ba gana ba dirwa ke gosala bo Sesana morago ene o tsamaya ka dikoloi tsa mabonwa o tshuba ka metlakase o na le metsi mo lapeng, sesana o balatlhisitse tsela goromente ene o ka tsaya kae mae a go tsisetsa mongwe le mongwe metsi,dijo,diaparo,motlakase le tse dingwe ko ga gago, gatwe kgobokanang lo tle lokgone go diakola ka bontsi, ba gana bare bone ke Basarwa ee a ba dirise ngwao ya bone ya bogologolo ya go baya metsi ba lese go latlha ngwao ka ke se ba sebatlang

  3. Basarwa tlheng tlhabologang bathong. Tota la re le itirang tota. Tlogelang segologolo sa go tshela makgwakgwa tswee-tswee. Nna tota ke itumelela katlholo e. If there is no water in the reserve go somewhere else where there is water jaaka ngwao ya lona e ntse. Basarwa ke batho ba ba nnang fa ba tswa fa.

  4. No! Ditlhabololo dintse di lo latela ko boMmandunyane, ko-Lerala, ko-Nkange, ko-Gaathwane. Janong ke eng disa latele boora Roy ko tenyanateng. Viva Basarwa Viva.

  5. YAA BA BA SOLVILE! HAHA, BO SESANA MOTHO WA BONE WA NE A TSIEDIWA KE MAKGOA A BO A TLHANOGELA BA GA GABO.FOTSEK! LE TLA GO NWA METSI KO LONTONE. DAMMET

  6. Bra Sesana just wise up and get civilsed..ko sekgweng o ya dira eng teng tota motho wa modimo. You guys (Sesana and crew) just give me that money you are wasting on greedy lawyers.

  7. Batla ipona!!!!!!!! gape bone gase gore ba rata metsi go le kalo. I’m not trying to undermine them, ke buela mo go reng ba mo ngwaong, lefelo la bone le ntse le sena metsi gale. Dt place gase la batho kela diphologolo, dts y tsone dile comfortable there. tswang koo betsho, we need yo skills mo metseng le mo ditoropong. Gase gore gare lorate, we luv and need ya guys

  8. Bona,Sesana wee…!lesa go misleader Basarwa ba Modimo.kana culture’s dynamic,ga o bone resa tlhole re lema ka dikgomo re lema ka di-tractor,resa tlhole re ja boloto re dirisa condoms e.t.c….so,guys TLHABOLOGANG b4 lere tlhomola dipelo!

  9. We can pass laws and use them successfully to oppress the already oppressed but it doesnt mean that we have triumphed over them……very soon there will be a powershift….BDP e thubegile so Basarwa ba ta bona metsi,it wont take for the courts to decide…..

  10. I was there (CKGR). I saw it all! I even know the borehole they r talkin about!The young generation in Kaudwane are wise and no longer interested-fact!Kaudwane P.S. got position 1 in Kweneng West PSLE for 2/3 consecutive terms under Kruger Kareng (head, 1995? to 2007?), and some of his products are at UB and various institutions thanks to the relocation-fact!The elders are only interested in game meat for they have nothing much to do (provision for families)due to their illiteracy and too much dependency on an unsustainable natural way of living, I know for I was a ranger-fact! They were given livestock (qualifying households), 5 cattle for a start, with free Council Bulls and free water, something all other Batswana do not enjoy-fact! As we speak some individuals have up to 40 Cattle-fact!Their cattle bound for Lobatse were transported free of charge, until just recently when gvt felt they are now self-sustained-fact!They used to get free hunting licenses, which they misused-ask Molepolole DWNP office-fact!Afterall I have made so many friends in the area, and everytime I return to the area I am accepted by almost all families, though I used to be accused of torturing them. That was done to divert attention-fact!The Basarwa are a very intelligent society believe me, very good reasoning. Allow me to point out that during my employment in the area, I realised that the Basarwa of Kaudwane were totally different from those of New Xade in many ways. A lot of negative influence was through, of course Roy & Company! I have no political affiliation, though I envy BMD, BUT I CAN REPORT WITHOUT FEAR THAT I NEVER WITNESSED BDP DOING ANYTHING WRONG DURING MY ENTIRE STAY WITH THOSE PEOPLE. I like following on thisn case and these Kori bustards are a nuisance to Botswana, though that adds to political gain for some opportunistic opposition party members!I know all that is going on in that area and those FAKE community leaders neighbouring Kaudwane, who were stepped on the toe by the erection of the non-lethal electric game-proof fence (which aided in curbing poaching)are now encouraging people to go back in CKGR for another supply of game meat. It is now tough since there is only one gazetted entry and exit point to Kaudwane.Basarwa are always in court for wrong deeds when those who send them are never apprehended. A lo dumela go nna didirisiwa? I know for sure that one biltong roll goes for P150!Wake up and continue from where gvt left you people. To hell with those who want to reap where they did not sow.To DWNP, everytime thse Basarwa “advocates” want a free-entry permit into CKGR, ensure they are not going to film! They need filming permits!! And should pay for those!!The Gope road is not accessible to any tourists, and Corry should not be an exception!Thumbs up to Walia!!!!!!!!!!

  11. http;//www.sarwaology.com fa le batla go akola basarwa sentle.tota ga ke ba tswae phoso cause ba setse ba itlwaeditse go nna mo dikgweng.

  12. This is being done for the sole benefit of Gem Diamonds who do not want the Basarwa to have access to the borehole in the reserve because it will threaten their ‘mining operations’. They use this as a political weapon to make it seem like the ‘whole nation’s’ good has to be taken into account – not the interests of one group. Yet, they are playing to dominant group to deny one group their rights. It’s a slippery slope from this to even more violations of people’s rights throughout the entire nation when foreign economic interests are threatened. The nation as a whole isn’t going to see any real benefit from the profits made by this company. A few individuals might – but the main people who will will be the shareholders. Some think that colonialism ended. It didn’t. We need a more sensible policy to regulate these foreign corporations. Right now, THEY are dictating policy and we are too blind to see the game they’re playing.

  13. Basarwa ba dira ngwao ya bone,evrybody is entlied to his\her own culture if living in a democacy.Basaswa ba tshwanetse go tlogelwa ba nna mo sekgweng,ke ngwao ya bone.

  14. When the Nazis were bein tried for annihilatin innocent people, their response was simple and clear, “We broke NO law.” And believe me they was right.

  15. So it means Vision 2016 is useless, it talks about a tolerant, just n caring nation. How do u deprive a person of a basic need (WATER), n u talk about democracy. This is pure xenophobia.

  16. Our respect for Botswana has waned tremendously. Why was Khama after the throat of Mugabe not long ago whereas he surpasses the spook in cruelty? It is a shame.

    Khama will understand the plight of the Barsawa when he will marry and get children who cry to him for drinking water.

    Irresponsible leaders only breed a nation of goons. Khama must go.

  17. Batswana ke kopa gore le thaloganye gore,we Basarwa young man we are getting educated, and we are not far from fighting for our own community you guys are oppressing, leave us stay whre ever we want to stay its us, n its our southern Africa(Botswana)u idiots are so oppressive,greed,and like dominating.one in d past black man waz’nt recognized but recently a blackman waz crouned to be president of the united states of America!we ll get thre…..!

  18. Batswana ke kopa gore le thaloganye gore,we Basarwa young man we are getting educated, and we are not far from fighting for our own community you guys are oppressing, leave us stay whre ever we want to stay its us, n its our southern Africa(Botswana)u idiots are so oppressive,greed,and like dominating.in d past black man waz’nt recognized but recently a blackman waz crouned to be president of the united states of America!we ll get thre…..!

  19. Nyobinyobi, i think u missing the point here. If u ask someone to come and stay closer to u so that u can be in a good position to help him or her with ditlhabololo, is that xenophobic? and Vission 2016 its about go tlhabologa ga batswana. Remember again that we need to preserve nature for the benefit of all batswana including basarwa thru Tourisim industry. Tell me now, what will happen when those basarwa have finished all the animals there? There will be no life for those basarwas and tourism will be negatively affected, and the impact will be very high on both basarwa and tourism industry. My worry is that we all know very well that those basarwas are ignorant but some of us side with them. Check now, those basarwas are saying they want to keep or stick to their culture but at the same time they want to drink water from the boreholes.

  20. A COMPARISON OF HUMAN RIGHT RECORDS BETWEEN BOTSWANA AND ZIMBABWE.

    Robert Mugabe, the celebrated brute repossed land, wrongfully seized from Zimbabweans by some parasitic blood sucking British under the colonial yoke Britain imposed on Zimbabwe.

    Mogae and Khama have the unenvied distiction of using state power to brutalize their citizens, the Barsawa.Which reasonable leader would deny his people of such basic of neccesity as water? Idi Amins are still around.

    Under Mugabe, thugs used violence to kill and maim innocent civilians. However in Botswana, the police and so called DIP are known to carry out extra judicial killings. In democratic soieties,citizens don’t get shot by members of the law enforcement community like rabbits.

    That accolade of being a shinning example of democracy in Africa is a farce. Botswana is not only corrupt but is run by thugs. It is a feudal system whereby one family and region sticks to power. Fifteetn century Europe.

  21. WHY A 5 STAR LUXURY LODGE NOW IN CKGR WITH A SWIMMING POOL OPEN LAST YEAR DECEMBER 2009 OWNED BY KHAMA AND WILDNES SAFARIS GROUP OF COMPANIES BUT BASARWA DENIED ACCESS TO WATER

  22. Moke mathata a le fatshe! Bagaetsho( Baswara) kgang e, e sale boletse fa go twe reboele CKGR mme ga re go bona sepe> Go a makatsa, mafelo a otlhe ditlamelo di latetse batho, rona ke eng gotwe re di latele? Go bohutsana ka gore kgang e a re gatelela! Potso ke gore lodge e e mo CKGR e tsaya metsi kae?

  23. Tota boSesana ba sotla ka batho ba bangwe. Ene o tshela sentle, o batla ba bangwe ba tsamaya ba sotlega. Ka ke ene a ba kganelelang kwa, ke eng a sa ba gele metsi ka Nxa5 ya gagwe????

    O feletse kae ka P200,000 Rre Sesana, o feletse o mmonye kwa o neng o mo sukunyeditse teng? Good luck.

  24. dithabololo di thola di ba latela ko bo kgomo-dia-tshaba go sa buiwe ele gore keeng di sa latele bo sesana le bone….