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Extermination of the Bushmen

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Bushman woman contemplates their future.

Bushman woman contemplates their future.

Bushman hut

Bushman hut

Making and selling traditional Bushmen Crafts is the only way some can still survive.

Making and selling traditional Bushmen Crafts is the only way some can still survive.

Bushmen in the village in Gope, Botswana.

Bushmen in the village in Gope, Botswana.

Bushmen still try to live the way they lived 10 000 years ago, but fences are restricting them.

Bushmen still try to live the way they lived 10 000 years ago, but fences are restricting them.

Bushmen still hunt the traditional way.

Bushmen still hunt the traditional way.

Bushman woman carrying water

Bushman woman carrying water

Bushmen paintings are found on rocks and in caves throughout Southern Africa, which shows that they originally occupied the whole region.

Bushmen paintings are found on rocks and in caves throughout Southern Africa, which shows that they originally occupied the whole region.

Bushmen children playing, seemingly unaware of the drama surrounding their future.

Bushmen children playing, seemingly unaware of the drama surrounding their future.

Who are the Bushmen?

The Bushmen, or San, were forever immortalised in the Jamie Uys movie and it's sequel, the 'God's must be Crazy'. People all over the world fell in love with the little man wearing only a loincloth who spoke in clicks and had a coke bottle fall on his head. There are 100,000 Bushmen left in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Angola. They are the indigenous people of southern Africa, and have lived there for tens of thousands of years. One can see the evidence in the numerous rock paintings seen all over Southern Africa on mountains and in caves.

In South Africa, the Bushmen were hunted and killed by Nguni Tribes moving south in search of new grazing. The Nguni tribes like the Zulu and the Xhosa, originally came from central Africa and are not indigenous to South Africa. The poor Bushmen, used to living by hunting found the Nguni people's cattle very easy to 'hunt' and this obviously upset the Nguni people, and they retaliated by hunting the Bushmen. As the Bushmen fled the advancing Nguni tribes, they met the European trekkers and farmers moving north, also in search of grazing. The Bushmen hunted the European's cattle and oxen which they didn't take lightly either. Bushmen hunting parties were organised. Both the Nguni tribes and the Europeans, did not view the Bushmen as being human beings. They thought they were animals, something like the missing link. This forced the Bushmen to move into and adapt to the dry, more desert-like areas, of Southern Africa.

In the middle of Botswana lies the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a reserve created to protect the traditional territory of the 5,000 Gana, Gwi and Tsila Bushmen (and their neighbours the Bakgalagadi), and the game (wild animals not a sports game) they depend on. In the early 1980s, diamonds were discovered in the reserve. Soon after, government ministers went into the reserve to tell the Bushmen living there that they would have to leave because of the diamond finds. In three big clearances, in 1997, 2002 and 2005, virtually all the Bushmen were forced out. Some tried to return and were tortured. Their homes were dismantled, their school and health post were closed, their water supply was destroyed and the people were threatened and trucked away.

The Botswana Government forcibly moved the Bushmen to resettlement camps outside the reserve. They have been banned from hunting, their only source of meat, and are arrested and beaten when they do. With nothing to do, they are now gripped by alcoholism, boredom, depression, and illnesses such as TB and HIV/AIDS. Farmers won't employ them as they are not strong enough to do manual labour tasks. They can't do other jobs as they have no education. The Bushmen don't have the same work ethic we have. If they are tired, they will just go and sleep under a tree. They don't stick to conventional work hours and if they are not in the mood to work, they don't. This makes them quite unemployable. Most survive by making crafts and selling them to missionaries for food and supplies. When I visited a Bushmen village in Botswana, I was aghast at some disease many children suffer because of the poor diet they are now forced to have. Many children have strange patches on their heads, rather like mange on a dog.

In the Gope area of the Central Kalahari in Botswana, the Bushmen have many ancestral graves. Unless they can return to their ancestral lands, their unique societies and way of life will be destroyed, and many of them will die.

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The Extermination

In the Gope area in Botswana, where diamonds have been found, Bushmen have been living there for generations. Many alive today were born there. Moloreng Balane, born in 1923, recalls, ‘I was born in Gope and my grandparents originated and died there.’ Many Bushmen from Gope recall when the first prospectors arrived. Segoko says, ‘When the mine started, we used to see aeroplanes, which frightened us. Then we saw lots of cars. This whole area, including on the spot where the mine shaft is, was inhabited by Bushman people who fled.’ This information was obtained from Survival International, who have been working really hard to try and save the Bushmen.

Although the Bushmen or San people lived peacefully for thousands of years, they have a history of being hunted and killed. Other African Tribes hunted them and killed them when the Bushmen hunted their cattle. European farmers would organise Bushmen Hunting parties for an afternoon's sport. In Namibia, when it was still German South West Africa, German missionaries and farmers hunted Bushmen regularly. The Bushmen didn't seem to understand ownership. If an animal or crops to pick was available and in their sights, they would take it. In their culture, there is no ownership. Everything belongs to everybody. This didn't sit well with the intruders who came to colonise their land.

In recent years, Bushmen were used by the South African Army as trackers during the Bush War of the seventies, South Africa's own version of the Vietnam War, when they were trying to rid the world of SWAPO and the communist government in Angola. Many young men were killed in that war, and when the war was over, their was nothing for the Bushmen trackers, so they returned home, back to their old way of life.

In Botswana, the government forcibly removed whole Bushmen villages, loading people onto the back of cattle trucks by gunpoint, and moving them to resettlement areas where they could no longer hunt and live as they want. Many Bushmen tried to return to their villages. Some were tortured by being tied to barbed wire fences and left to die. Others were tied to the backs of pick-up trucks and dragged along the hard stony ground. Many just went missing. Waterholes were destroyed so they couldn't get water and died of thirst. Their goats were taken, supposedly put in quarantine, so they had nothing to eat. Schools were closed so their children couldn't get an education. Life for the Bushmen became very grim.  Read some of their stories and messages to the world, at I want to go home.

A Botswana government minister was reported as saying that the Botswana government does not murder people.  They are not murderers.  She then added that the Bushmen were not people, they were animals.  Therefore, we can deduce that the Botswana government thought it was culling animals, rather than exterminating people.

The Bushmen people in Botswana did what any self-respecting person would do.  With the help and sponsorship of Survival International, they sued the Botswana Government and took them to court.


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Find out more about the Bushmen

The Court Case

In 2002 the Bushmen made a huge decision and took the government to court. They wanted the court to rule that their eviction was illegal. Corruption rules in Africa, and Botswana is not an exception.  Due to procedural wrangling and delaying tactics by the government while they tried to quickly exterminate and torture more Bushmen, evidence did not start to be heard until 2004.

Although the Bushmen are Botswana’s poorest citizens, the case became the longest and most expensive in the country’s history. Different organisations raised money to help fund the court case for the Bushmen.  Eventually, 239 Bushman adults put their names to the case, and and as the momentum and publicity around the court case built, another 135 adults asked to be added to it. Together with their children, they represented around 1,000 people. (Of the original 239 Bushmen who initiated the lawsuit, 12% died awaiting justice.)

While the case continued, many Bushmen tried to return to their homeland in the reserve. The government brought in armed officials to prevent them from returning home.  Those that made it home, were evicted again by the government, some of them for the third time. In a cunning move by the governemnt, the key clause protecting Bushman rights in Botswana’s constitution was removed by the government during the court case, effectively removing all protection and rights the Bushmen might have had.  During this time, the world did nothing to help the Bushmen.

On 13 December 2006 the Bushmen won a landmark historic victory. After all the evidence and testimonies presented to the court, the judges ruled that their eviction by the government was ‘unlawful and unconstitutional’, and that they have the right to live inside the reserve, on their ancestral land.  The court also ruled that the Bushmen have the right to hunt and gather in the reserve, and that they should not have to apply for special hunting permits to enter ithe reserve and live and hunt there.

The story should have a happy ending, but it doesn't.  With their backs against the wall and international media representatives present, the Botswana government quickly announced that it would not appeal the judgment.  It appeared that the Bushmen had won, but it proved to be a hollow victory.  The Botswana government has since done everything within its power to obstruct the judgement, and prevent the Bushmen from going home.it

The Botswana Government has BANNED the Bushmen from using their water borehole or drilling new ones,  They have REFUSED to issue a single permit to hunt on their land (despite Botswana’s High Court ruling in December that its refusal to issue permits was unlawful),  So, any Bushmen caught hunting are arrested and imprisoned.  In fact, more than  50 Bushmen have already been arrested for hunting to feed their families,  Another clever new regulation the Botswana Government came up with in reaction to the court ruling, was banning ALL domestic livestock from being kept on the reserve.  This means that the Bushmen will not be able to take their goats there.  Another rule, was that no permanent structures were allowed to be built, and no schools.  Basically, the Bushmen were stuffed.  They had won but could do nothing with their victory.  It's clear that the Botswana Government's policy is to intimidate and frighten the Bushmen into staying in the resettlement camps, and making the lives of those who have gone back to their ancestral land impossible.


 

Diamond mine in Botswana

Diamond mine in Botswana

Opencast diamond mining in Botswana

Opencast diamond mining in Botswana

Hoodia flower

Hoodia flower

The Hoodia plant is a type of cactus.

The Hoodia plant is a type of cactus.

Uranium mine in Namibia.

Uranium mine in Namibia.

Greed and corruption


Is there a mine at Gope?  Not at the moment. Although De Beers operated a prospecting mine shaft there for some years, it has been dismantled. Because of all the negative publicity from the Bushmen Campaign by Survival International, in May 2007 De Beers sold its deposit at Gope to Gem Diamonds, for $34 million.  Although De Beers had repeatedly claimed that the find was 'sub-economic', Gem Diamonds has stated publicly that it contains more than $2.2 billion-worth of diamonds, and they planned to develop a mine at Gope as quickly as possible.  However, De Beers and Gem are not the only mining companies looking for diamonds in the Gope area.  Petra Diamonds is also drilling there.  Since the whole hullaballoo started in 2002, the Botswana government has granted 112 mining licenses for mining companies to explore in the Central Kalahari reserve. 16 licenses have been awarded for uranium exploration and 40 for coal.


In South Africa, Bushmen are in danger because of the discovery of the appetite suppressing properties of Hoodia, a plant used by the Bushmen to suppress their appetites for thousands of years.  It's how they are able to go long periods without food in extremely harsh conditions.  The research process was not easy; in fact, it took 30 years to detect the ingredient responsible for suppressing appetites in this plant. When it was found, the ingredient was immediately patented and the license was given to Phytopharm.

Further 20 million dollars was spent on different trials and overweight volunteers, with all trials ending with unexpectedly high success. The people taking Hoodia and consuming it regularly ate about 1,000 calories less per day than those from the group that carried on their normal life. By the way, on average, the amount of calories consumed by an American man is 2,600; women consume about 1,900 calories a day.  If taken on a daily basis, Hoodia plant reduces your craving for food. 

The Bushmen were amazed when they first heard about Hoodia having been patented from the news. 
Lawyers anxious to jump on the bandwagon, have written a number of letters in order to help the Bushmen receive fair compensation. This population has been ruthlessly exploited for hundreds of years: first by black tribes of Africa, later - by white people who came to colonize Africa.
Lawyers on both sides finally came to an agreement. The South Africa Bushmen will get some part of the profit made.

If you're anxious to buy some Hoodia to lose weight, don't rush off to the Pharmacy just yet.  It is impossible to make Hoodia into a pill form, so it'll be made into health bars and shakes.  To do this, huge plantations of Hoodia will have to be grown commercially in the Bushmen hunting grounds.

In Namibia, the Bushmen living there are also going through some hard times. A Canadian company was granted exclusive uranium-prospecting licenses in two ecologically very sensitive nature reserves in Namibia in the Namib Naukluft Park. The local Bushmen tribal chief has warned that mining would destroy their desert homeland. The Namib Naukluft Park is one of the largest national parks in Africa, covering much of the central Namib Desert and the Naukluft (Narrow Canyon in German) Mountains. It is home to some of the rarest and weirdest plant -and animal species in the world, including the Welwitschia Mirabilis, large lichen fields and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra - and also is home to the last surviving remnants of southern Africa's First Nation, the Bushmen or San People.  Only 20% of the desert might be saved after mining and Namibia is Africa's top uranium producer.
Uranium is used for nuclear-energy generation. Canada is now a superpower in the African mining sector.

Watch the movies!

What now?

Gem Diamonds have put the opening of the diamond mine at Gope on hold because of the current recession.  However, the Bushmen are still being arrested for trying to go home, water holes are still closed, and they are still forbidden to hunt in the Central Kalahari Reserve.

As people become more obese, natural weight-loss remedies are going to be more in demand.  Bushmen hunting grounds where Hoodia grows will become commercial ventures.  What will happen to their way of life?

As the world turns to nuclear energy, uranium will be in more and more demand.  Another Bushmen hunting ground will be wiped out.

Really, when greed comes into play, you usually get corruption.  And, someone has to be the victim.  In this case, it is the Bushmen, the endangered First People of Southern Africa.

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Bushmen in Botswana

The God's must be Crazy

Bushmen stories in the news!

Africa's Bushmen face lifestyle threat

Posted Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:39am AEST

The Sans Bushmen are now threatened by the 21st Century curses of unemployment, poverty, alcohol abuse and HIV-AIDS. (Reuters: Siphiwe Sibeko )

They roamed the savannahs and open plains for thousands of years, but the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of southern Africa's San tribes is slowly being squeezed towards extinction.

After clashing at the start of the last century with German settlers in modern-day Namibia and then being exploited by South Africa's apartheid regime in the 1980s, the San, also known as Bushmen, are now threatened by the 21st Century curses of unemployment, poverty, alcohol abuse and HIV-AIDS.

While the plight of the San in Botswana made headlines in recent months when authorities illegally evicted tribes from the Kalahari, their kinsmen in Namibia and South Africa have fared little better in protecting their traditional habitat.

A glimmer of hope lies in tourism as operators discover the remote part of Namibia where the likes of Gcao Nari, a grandmother of the Juhoansi San tribe, showcase the ancient art of threading ostrich shell beads.

But in a sign of the times, the beads that Nari painstakingly needles under the fierce sun are imported from neighbouring South Africa since there are no ostriches left in the remote north-east Otjozondjupa region.

Nari speaks softly to her granddaughter in the ancient San tongue, with complicated clicks rolling from her lips as she enthuses about tentative plans to reintroduce game to the area as a source of food and income for a people with unparalleled hunting abilities.

"Then my grandchildren can be taught to hunt again," she said.

Colonial rulers

About 30,000 San remain in Namibia, with the Haikom and Juhoansi the largest groups.

Their numbers dived from the start of the last century when then colonial ruler Germany allowed growing numbers of white settlers to shoot Bushmen and encroach on their traditional hunting grounds.

South Africa took over the territory's administration during the World War I until Namibia's independence in 1990, which followed a protracted liberation war.

Nari remembers the 1970s when the South African military came to enlist the help of the San in return for certain favours.

"They used my husband and other men of our village as trackers along the border with Angola to fight freedom fighters," she says through an interpreter.

"The military drilled boreholes for us and taught our children, their doctors in uniform gave us medical treatment and my husband earned a salary."

Other San like the Khwe and Vasekele originated in Angola, were employed by Portuguese colonial military forces during that country's liberation struggle, but fled to Namibia after Angolan independence in 1975.

They were wedged between two warring factions.

"Bushman Battalion'

The South African military gave them shelter in then South West Africa; the men became trackers and soldiers in a special 'Bushman Battalion' against the Peoples' Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN).

In 1990, some 1,000 San soldiers and their families took up an offer from the Pretoria government to settle at Schmidtsdrift, near Kimberley in South Africa's arid Northern Cape province, fearing reprisals from the new Namibian government if they stayed.

The 5,000-strong !Xu - an exclamation point precedes the word to represent the distinctive click sounds in their language - and Khwe communities left in the Northern Cape today have been reduced to relying on government pensions and food handouts.

"I feel caged," 84-year-old Monto Masako said, from his sparsely furnished three-room home at Platfontein, as he dreamily recalls his childhood.

"My father taught me to hunt with a bow and arrow. We slept in the veldt - it was so free. But that has all been taken away, we can never go back."

The Schmidtsdrift community spent its first decade in an army tent camp, exposed to the elements and without proper services.

Title deeds

But in 1999, then president Nelson Mandela handed them the title deeds to the nearby farm Platfontein, which they had bought by pooling nearly 900 individual government housing grants of 15,000 rand ($US2,000) each.

With further government and NGO help, houses were erected and the move from Schmidtsdrift started some three years later.

But having put all their hopes on Platfontein for a better life, many were bitterly disappointed.

With a handful of available jobs and no public transport to the town of Kimberley some 10 kilometres away, many spend their days idling and drinking.

There is no refuse removal and the tiny homes are shoddily built, letting in the rain and wind. Nor is there any inside plumbing, bathroom or kitchen, while many units have yet to get electricity.

HIV, tuberculosis, crime and teenage pregnancy are on the rise, community workers say.

"We can never go back to the life of old, but at least a good quality house would have made it more tolerable," Masako said.

There is some cause for hope, however, with the new generation of San attending school and several employment projects in the pipeline.

The people of Platfontein have set up a security company providing some 300 jobs, erected a cultural tourist centre, and were planning a game lodge with various donations.

"We are trying to make a new life," community leader Mario Mahongo said.

UN expert visits Bushmen, sees no access to water

31 March 2009

© 2004 Stephen Corry/Survival

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, visited Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana this month. He met with Bushmen who are living inside the reserve without access to water.

Professor Anaya visited several Bushman communities in Botswana, including the resettlement camps Kaudwane and New Xade, where the government dumped several thousand Bushmen after forcibly evicting them from their homes inside the reserve. He also visited two Bushman communities inside the reserve, Gugamma and Metsiamenong.

In a landmark ruling in 2006, the High Court of Botswana confirmed the Bushmen’s right to live inside the reserve. Since then, some have managed to return, joining the few who were able to resist the evictions. But most are still stuck in the resettlement camps, because the government has banned them from using their own water borehole in the reserve and from hunting for food.

The government is, however, allowing a mining company and a tourism company to set up operations in the reserve. Both projects will need to sink water boreholes of their own.

This month the UN Human Rights Council also concluded its review of Botswana, in which Finland urged Botswana to ‘ensure respect for the rights of the indigenous people living in the areas of interest to companies active in the diamond business’, and Denmark urged them to ‘provide access to land and support for the residents of the reserve, as specified in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people.’

Canada and Spain also urged action on the issue, and Mexico suggested Botswana consider ratifying the international law for tribal peoples’ rights, ILO Convention 169.

One of the ways the Botswana government is stopping more Bushmen returning to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is cutting off their water supply.

Before the evictions, the Bushmen got water from a borehole in the community of Mothomelo. A tanker carried water to the other communities once a month.

© Survival

During the evictions the government stopped this service, removed all the water storage tanks and took the borehole’s pump, without which it is useless.

Many Bushmen have returned to the reserve, both before and after their court victory. They get water from ‘pans’ – rain-filled depressions in the sand, and from melons and roots. In the dry season, life is extremely difficult, and at least one woman has already died of starvation and thirst.

The government has banned the Bushmen from re-opening and using the borehole, even though the Bushmen have offered to pay the costs. It has given no explanation for its ban.

It has, however, allowed the diamond company in the reserve to use all the water it needs, and has even indicated that safari companies can sink new boreholes to make waterholes for wildlife.

Government renews assault on Bushmen

20 May 2009

© Stephen Corry/Survival

Botswana’s government sent trucks full of police and wildlife scouts into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) yesterday to confiscate goats from Bushmen who have returned to their ancestral homes.

The Bushmen, whose goats had been confiscated in 2002 when they were unlawfully evicted from the reserve, only received their livestock back in recent weeks.

The Attorney General had promised the Bushmen that they could take their goats back to their homes in the reserve, and government vets had certified the animals as free from disease.

But officials from the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism have targeted the Bushmen’s small herds, apparently concerned that they do not fit in with the image of the CKGR they wish to promote. The government is promoting a scheme to build a tourist lodge near the Bushman community of Molapo in the reserve – the same community now being targeted.

Goats provide the Bushmen with an essential source of nourishment, particularly during the dry season. This need is even more acute since the government has barred the Bushmen from using their old water borehole.

Jumanda Gakelebone of the Bushman organisation First People of the Kalahari said today, ‘As Bushmen of the CKGR we were thinking that our issues with the government could be solved and come to an end. The position that the Ministry of Tourism is taking means there are no negotiations. We as Bushmen appeal to the nation of Botswana and say that the battle between the government and the Bushmen of the CKGR is starting. For two years we tried to talk with the government. Now our campaign is beginning again.’

Survival International’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘For two years the Bushmen have been trying to get the government to sit down with them and discuss their rights. So far the government’s only response has been to send in truckloads of police to take back the livestock they have only just returned. It’s hard to believe just how petty and bullying the government’s actions are. They ought to have realised by now that the Bushmen aren’t so easily bullied.’

For more information contact Jumanda Gakelebone (First People of the Kalahari) on (+267) 7190 9972 or Miriam Ross (Survival International) on (+44) 20 7687 8734/ mr@survival-international.org

Comments

Rohit on January 23, 2015:

How can you people go aorund and blame all of this on republicans? WE as humans are the ones to blame not just one party of people. Until we start taking a stand and helping our planet we are all doomed. Just face it, we ruin our planet every single minute of everyday, putting off toxins into the air, dumping trash that takes billions of years to decompose (if it ever does), and not caring enough to do something about it, so yes i believe that we are ALL to blame each and evry one of us.

Makenza on October 18, 2012:

I dont get it..how could people want to destroy the unique culture of the san,the first inhabitants of southern africa..we should be proud to have such people..its such a shame that profit gain is considered first instead of peoples lifestyle..!!

Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on March 04, 2011:

Walkey, I lived in Botswana for 4 years and went into the Kalahari to visit the Bushman!

Walkey on March 02, 2011:

The writer of this piece is just recycling nonsense that has been written before. I'm from Botswana and I'm still yet to read history of Basarwa (the name we call this tribe) written by one of them, an objective piece I would say from the horse's mouth. All you have written here is not what I see on the ground. It's rather interesting how you know all these and you write with such authority! the piece contains a lot of lies, and I call that prejudice, malice and propaganda.

ekenzy on February 24, 2011:

Wow!!! very interesting. nice hub.

Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on November 25, 2010:

I agree totally Chioham, which is why I wrotebout this issue to try and make more people aware of their plight.

Chioham on November 25, 2010:

We all need to do something to pressurise the Government and all stakeholders to support the Bushmen.

Chioham- Emancipation of the Igbos- Article

Scott on November 15, 2010:

Hello my son

Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on October 03, 2010:

Yeah, tribal societies do need someone to speak up for them and luckily there is an NGO that does just that, Survival International.

tinyteddy from INDIA on October 03, 2010:

hey cindy i admire your guts to voice for the bushmen

in India also we have an endangered species- the dalits and tribals- the indian aparthied

Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on January 12, 2010:

Hi Lexy, you are so right, greed usually triumphs over compassion!

Lexy on January 12, 2010:

wow what a great hub. Thank-you for writing it. It is such a shame what is happening, I had no idea. Sadly this kind of thing happens far to often in this world. It is unfortunate that greed often triumphs over compassion when people are faced with the choice.

Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on January 08, 2010:

Robertsloan, it is unbelievable that this kind of things still goes on. But, what are we going to do about it?

robertsloan2 from San Francisco, CA on January 07, 2010:

Thank you for raising awareness of this modern atrocity. There need to be more efforts to protect people from a government that doesn't even regard them as people. In some ways the Bushmen's society is very advanced, they need the right to keep their land. It's crazy that this kind of thing is still going on in the 21st century.

Cindy Vine (author) from Cape Town on December 20, 2009:

SXP, I agree

SXP from South Africa on December 19, 2009:

All, I know is this: If something is not done soon, these the really first inhabitants of Africa might be lost forever.

ixwa on September 16, 2009:

Terse comments you made which shows how much you really do not know what you are talking about. How you relate other peoples historical past says a lot about you. I have a sneaky suspicion you really do not know South African African history because that's the way it has always been. Sorry, I cannot get over myself because I have many reasons why I think correct history ought to be relayed throughout the web. You cannot justify using the terms "tribe", "Bushmen", "Dark Continent" and still claim that it was so named because Africa was unknown and and not of their skin color. You assume I meant the latter. Sorry, no. I mentioned a book in my last response hoping you might get the drift, you missed it because you hastened to blame the wiping out of the khoi onto the Local Africans and the Botswana People. The history of the Khoi and the San is far more deeper than you have alluded above. I have not derailed the topic of your article, I was merely pointing out that you should place blame to the correct people. You talking about the Nguni being in Tanzania, but you forget that Africa was cut up by the European colonialist, so that, what you assume was the movement of the Nguni to the South, was a region of people who fell under the rule of the Kingdom of Monomotapa and many other civilizations of antiquity. The genocide of the Khoi was begun by Bartholomew Diaz and his ship mates. You'll need to know and understand that that the history of both the Khoi and San does not really have much differences and that, in fact, as it is known that the San were hunter gatherers, The Khoi too, were the San because. Let me break this down for you. About four hundred years or so ago, the Cape Colony was a sparsely underpopulated territory but was important for its inhabitants and rulers and a couple of passing travelers. The years from 1652 to the mid 1800s the cate was The integrated into the world economy and when Europeans began dominating over Africans. With this domination came the founding of minerals and the rise of Afrikaner nationalism. The Settlers ruled and dominated the Cape Colony and they had slaves, the Khoi, San Africans and free blacks and others of mixed descent. The Griquas emerged for this mix. This was a slave society bearing comparison to the New World. It was also a colonial society under the control of the Dutch East India Company and the British and Batavian governments. Around the 1840s the Colony was modestly modernized. Around 1828 the Khoisan were extended some civil liberties, through the abolition of slavery in 1838. This is one of the many events which led to the Great Trek into the interior by Afrikaner colonists to try and fashion their own social order far form the British and the freed slaves. The Khoi kept cattle and sheep and the San were hunter gatherers. These two groups are very hard to distinguish, despite what some historians have assumed. The hunter-gatherers were existing there throughout the Equator and below long before pastoralism or agriculture. These two groups of people inhabited, for centuries parts of southern Africa and their material, intellectual and culture diversified. The San, because of their small numbers and isolation their heterogeneity was intensified some of them were the Khoi who lost their livestock and resorted to a hunting-gathering economy. The Khoi were different in many ways, and their name "Khoikhoi which means 'men of men' which they used to distinguish themselves form the Nguni and the San. The history of the development of the Cape was through wars with the Khoi and the San, who, in the process of their being decimated, lost their livestock and land. History has all the facts a researcher needs, and I think it depends where and what one is looking for.

Africa may have not been know according your trying to justify the Dark Continent, and again, history furnishes different fact, and it depends where you are looking. It is important you should find the ship logs and the diaries of Vasco da Gama and his forays on the East African Coast. Duarte Barbosa talks about the Swahili Civilization before the impact of Portuguese intervention. He talks about Sofala, The Zambezi Mouth, Angoya, Mozambique Island, Kilwa, Mombasa, Malindi, Pemba, Mafia, Zanzibar, Pate, Amu, Brava and Mogadishu. You can read some more accounts about early Africa from the writings of Diogo De Aalcancova on the Swahili Fiscal Practices. Go and check out Al Mas'udi on 'The Country of Zanj. Idrisi can inform you about the Export of iron form the mines in the mountains of Sofala. Yu-Yang-Tsa-Tsu writes about the custom and practices of the People of Popali in AD 843; Chao Ju-Kua narrates about the Slaves of Madagascar. Lastly, Ibn Batuta describes Kilwa in 1331, etc. No, Africa was not a Dark Continent that Europeans or Americans did not know about. They new more than you know now. The suffering and extermination of the San was long carried out by the European Settlers in the Cape From 1492(for the Khoi), and 1652 to the mid 1800s for the san. The San, in their cave painting, depict the settlers in their horse drawn carriages, some drawn on horseback carrying guns. The wars of the Extermination of the Khoi and San who were stealing cattle and sheep form the settlers were in the years 1673, 16